The Adelaide Gaol was built in 1841 and continued as a working prison until 1988 making it the longest serving prison in Australia. It is the second oldest public building in South Australia.
During it’s working life, the Adelaide Gaol housed some of South Australia’s most notorious criminals and characters. More than 300,000 men and women were incarcerated at the Gaol.
A total of forty four men and one woman were executed at various sites around the Gaol. The public are able to view all of these sites, hanging displays and much more.
Access is allowed into most buildings. Some of these are part of the original fabric of the Gaol. These include the Shop area, the Sally Port, the various Yards, the Graves area, the original Cell Block and the Hanging Tower.
The Gaol also offers interactive displays where you can try your hand at picking a lock or even wearing leg irons. These are favourites for the kids.
The Adelaide Gaol Preservation Society Inc. (a volunteer group formed in 1989) in conjunction with the South Australian Government jointly showcase this historic and architectural jewel for the enjoyment of the public.
Our volunteer guides conduct regular historic tours filled with informative and interesting anecdotes. Reputedly one of the most haunted sites in South Australia; our volunteer guides also conduct eerie and entertaining public ghost tours. Private ghost tours can also be arranged by appointment.
Recently, an archaeological dig was carried out at the Gaol confirming the site was where the original settlers were camped while waiting for their homes to be built in and around Adelaide. This makes the Gaol part of the very fabric of South Australia. With history dating back to the first white settlers, the Adelaide Gaol is an important part of South Australia’s heritage.
Walk the laneways where murderers, debtors and ‘lunatics’ trod. Enter cell blocks where the echoes of long past prisoner’s voices still seem to linger. Experience the isolation of being shut in a cell. Ring the bell that once tolled slowly when an execution took place.
A must for all visitors to South Australia
Sunday to Friday 10 am - 5 pm. Closed Saturday, Christmas Day and Good Friday