Explore Albany’s convict past and view an extensive collection of photographs.
The Albany Convict Gaol was established in 1852 for imperial convicts that were transported to Albany as skilled labourers. Originally consisting of a cell block for convicts with quarters for the warden, the gaol was extended in 1873 to become a public prison, with Aboriginal prisoners being moved to the prison as a result of increasing numbers of escapes from the Lawley Park town prison.
The gaol was originally established with rehabilitation as a key principle, and convicts sentenced to transportation from England between 1850-1868 often served time in the gaol. Convicts who had optained their ticket to leave were hired by free settlers for labour, and work conducted by the convicts included the town jetty, manning the pilot boat and building the road to Perth.
The gaol was extended once again in 1875 with women’s cells and addiction warden quarters. In the 1930s, it was used as a police lock-up during the Great Depression. By 1941, the gaol was put up for sale by the Public Works Department and condemned as unfit for habitation.
It wasn’t until 1989 when work began to restore the gaol, which were finalised in 1996 at which point it became a museum. The gaol museum reveals stories about the early days of town settlement, the inmates who were kept there and the gaol facilities, as well as an exhibition on one of Albany’s most decorated soldiers.
The Museum also features an extensive collection of photographs from Albany’s history.
Daily: 10am – 4pm
Except Good Friday, Christmas Day and the morning of ANZAC Day
Under 6: Free
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You can support our important work by becoming a member of the Albany Historical Society.
Membership is as low as $15 a year for single membership, and entitles you to receive copies of our quartlerly newsletter, free entry to the Albany Convict Gaol and Patrick Taylor Cottage and to access our new Online Members' Area.
The Online Members' Area allows members to browse our extensive (over 3500+) archive of paintings and photographs of Albany and surrounding regions from the past, as well as our newly digitised archive of magazines, featuring articles relating to Albany's history.