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Prisons Historical Sites Art Galleries & Museums in Western Australia

Discover what's going on in arts, events & culture

Discover what’s going on in arts, events & culture.

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Check out travel guides for regional Western Australia.

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Check out winery guides for Perth and regional WA.

Galleries in Western Australia


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Doing Time at Fremantle Prison

Fremantle Prison holds the key to history, mystery and fun. Step inside and do time on a fascinating Prison Day Tour, Tunnels Tour adventure or spooky Torchlight Tour.

  • Historical Sites:Prisons
  • Open Days/times:Mon - Sun 9AM - 5PM

Details

  • Facilities:Cafe
  • Open Days:Monday,Tuesday,Wednesday,Thursday,Friday,Saturday,Sunday

Description

Fremantle Prison is one of Western Australia’s premier tourist attractions and is the first building in the State to be inscribed on to the World Heritage list.

The Prison was built by convicts in the 1850s and was used as a place of incarceration for almost 140 years. Decommissioned as an operating maximum security gaol in 1991, the empty prison with its solitary cells and gallows is a monument to a system of punishment that is uncomfortably recent.

If the walls of the Prison could talk they might tell stories of loneliness, pain and suffering.  As a place of execution between 1888 and 1984, 43 men and 1 women were hanged there.

Step inside and do time with Fremantle Prison’s experienced guides on a range of Prison Day tours around this fascinating site. Daring escapes and colourful characters feature in tales laced with prison humour. Artwork on cell walls speak volumes, from the classical to the vibrant Aboriginal images.

Visitors with a spirit for adventure can explore the one kilometre labyrinth of tunnels built more than a century ago under the Prison on a Tunnels Tour. Equipped with hardhat, overalls, boots, headlamps and harnesses visitors are locked into the ladder system and descend 20 metres into the depths below.  Skilled guides lead the trek through dry sections of the tunnels by foot, then visitors board replica convict punts to explore the submerged passageways accessible only by boat.

For a spooky experience you can’t go past an eerie Torchlight Tour. Cringe at the rotten, the wretched and inhumane as the tour guide delves into the darker side of the Prison's history. Be warned – there are a few surprises along the way and these tours are not for the faint hearted.

Bookings are essential for Tunnels Tours and Torchlight Tours, call (08) 9336 9200.

For more information on WA’s World Heritage listed tourist attraction visit us at www.fremantleprison.com.au

Irwin Historical Museum

The Irwin District Museum is housed in the former Dongara Police Station, Courthouse and Gaol. The building also served as a ticket of leave hiring depot, and police quarters. It's open Mon- Sat, 10am

  • Museums:Local History
  • Historical Sites:Prisons

Details

  • Open Days:Monday,Tuesday,Wednesday,Thursday,Friday,Saturday

Description

 

The building was built at a contract price of £1200 by expiree Joseph Walton in 1870-71 using ticket-of-leave labour.

By 1874 the building had a lean-to addition added to the north side which served as a post and telegraph office. The native cell to the west and some of the rear yard walls were demolished in the mid 1950's.

The building served as a police station, courthouse and quarters until 1983. In early 1984 the building was occupied by the Tourist Centre and between 1984 and 1987 extensive restorations were funded and carried out by the Dongara Old Police Station Restoration Committee with additional funding through a grant form the WA Heritage Committee.

In 2000, the Society built additional museum display space on the site of the former horse stables at the rear of the building jointly funded by LotteryWest Small Museums Grant and the Society.

Currently the building is operated by the Irwin District Historical Society as a research office with historic displays, the Dongara Magistrates Court is held each month in the former Day Room.

Old Derby Gaol

Gaol dating back to 1906 adjacent to current police station. A great insight into how prisoners were treated in the early days of settlement.

  • Historical Sites:Prisons

Details

Description

Old Newcastle Gaol Museum

The Newcastle Gaol museum was built by convicts over 150 years ago. Inside are displays about Moondyne Joe and colonial life, as well as regularly updated temporary exhibitions.

  • Historical Sites:Prisons

Details

  • Open Days:Friday,Saturday,Sunday,Monday,Tuesday,Wednesday,Thursday

Description

The Newcastle Gaol Museum and Police Stables are part of a complex of buildings associated with law and order.  

Only a 5-10 minute walk from the Toodyay railway station and main street. 

Buildings on-site include the 1865 Gaol, the 1891 Police Stables, the 1907 lock-up and the century old Wicklow Shearing Shed re-located from a nearby farming property.  Also on display are farming implements reflecting the agricultural history of the region.

 

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