Saturday, January 12, 2008

I was sent to jail

Today, I did something really bad,

so I was sent to jail ...

...the 'Old Melbourne Jail'

135 people were hanged here, so its no wonder that this is one of Melbourne's most haunted places. They have ghost tours here too.

Map of the facility

View of the jail from at the entrance. I must admit it is a pretty gloomy and creepy place to be in.

Each of the cells on the ground floor has some 'artifacts', for example...

...silence masks. It was thought that isolating the prisoners from each other would break their spirit, hence making moral reform easier. If you were really bad, you'd be wearing the metal one on the right.

I kind of wondered why were the inmates required to wear gloves...

...until I saw the explanation right next to it !!!

Some of the prisoner's lives are interesting, such as the one above of Robert Moloney.

Opposite view of the jail to the entrance

This is Ned Kelly's famous gun which he used at the siege in Glenrowan.

This is Ned's death mask. To make this, they have to sever the head of the inmate after he/she is executed, and make a mold from it. How crude...

They have a Ned Kelly performance here at the end of the corridor. Kids can try on Ned Kelly's armor (on the left and right of his death mask).

The original armor Ned Kelly wore weighs 44 kg and has an estimated current value of $8 million!

Me, the outlaw with Ned Kelly and his mother.

Looking up towards the tower.

View of the gallows where Ned Kelly and many others were hanged from the top floor.

View of the corridor from the middle floor

View of the corridor from the top floor

The blue stone walls are solid, cold and chilly

The entrance to each cell is quite low and narrow

The inside of each cell is very bare. No toilets are provided, so you can imagine what this placed smelled like.

The hangman's death kit.
A job is successful if:
1. The inmate dies instantaneously (through the snapping of the neck vertebrae)
2. The inmate's skin remains in satisfactory condition (not torn or bruised)

View of the prison yard

I salute the effort made by the National Trust of Australia in their efforts to conserve this part of Australian history.

I then went for the Watch House Experience tour at 2.50 pm.

An explanation of the tour reads:

"For 30 minutes you will understand what it is like to be arrested and locked up in this establishment that has not changed since it was last officially used in 1994.

Parents note - Adult themes that can be confronting for children."

For those who aren't don't know what to expect, be prepared for an intimidating experience ( I know I was).

The police sergeant taking details of the accused.

Interior of the station

Behind that great, black iron door is...

The inmates' cells.

Imagine hearing screams, and obscenities in this space the whole day.

We were locked up in a very clean cell, thankfully without the rapists, murderers and pedophiles in sight. This cell's name is 'Lucky 13'.

As compared to the old jail,you get a complimentary toilet in each cell. You just have to do it in front of the rest of your cell mates.

I think I know what this special cell is for - maybe crazy inmates who hurl their bodies against the cell walls stay in here.

The mens' exercise yard

The ladies' exercise yard is more airy and sunny

If you're bored, you can enjoy looking at the grafitti etched on the walls and doors

The one who managed to write some stuff up there must be really tall.

"All cops are *@#~ " - Rosie Allen

There was also a movie screening inside the City Court which is next to the Police Watch house.

Interior of the City Court. This is the very same court where Ned Kelly was put on trial.

I'll end this post with a picture from the Old Melbourne Gaol.




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