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OLD MELBOURNE GAOL
Transcript of OLD MELBOURNE GAOL
-The routine for prisoners was regulated by a system of bells, and enforced by punishments.
-Prisoners who obeyed the rules would be promoted to the second floor.
-Prisoners who had become trusted were housed on the third floor communal cells.
Melbourne Gaol is one of Australia's oldest prisons, and perhaps the most famous. The precinct was the last home of Australian bush ranger and icon Ned Kelly, along with a range of other well known figures from Victoria's rich history.
An Irish Australian bushranger,he is considered by some to be merely a cold-blooded killer,while other consider him to be a folk hero and symbol of Irish Australian resistance against the Anglo-Australian ruling class.
Ned Kelly's crimes
-Assaulting a Chinese pig farmer.
-Trading a horse that was stolen.
-Assaulting a hawker.
-Shot Constable Alexander Fitzpatrick in his wrist.
-Held police and civilians hostage while stealing money out of bank vaults.
Built in the 1800's, Melbourne Gaol played an integral part in Melbourne's formative years. While it no longer operates as a prison, the story of the men and women whose lives were shaped by the precinct is kept alive inside these walls.
Ned Kelly's armour
In 1879 the Kelly Gang came up with the idea of creating armour from mouldboards. The suits were very heavy, Ned's being the heaviest, weighing around 97 pounds (44kg).
-Prisoners convicted of serious crime would begin their time on the ground floor.
-They were forbidden from communicating with other prisoners.
-They would only be given a single hour of solitary exercise a day.
During its operation, the gaol was the setting for 133 hangings. Executed prisoners were buried (without head) in unmarked graves in the gaol burial yard.
Inside the cells, prisoners would be able to lie on a thin mattress over the slate floors. They could only bathe and change clothes once a week.