The Old Gaol

Men’s cell block, former HM Gaol and Labour Prison Alice Springs.

Image courtesy of Haley Colla-Howard

Her Majesty’s Gaol and Labour Prison Alice Springs was opened in 1938 and operated until 1996. Additional cells and facilities were added over the years, especially in the late 1960’s and 1970’s. It was a male and female gaol until the mid-1980’s then a male only facility when due to overcrowding the decision was made to send female prisoners to Darwin.

In 1996, the prisoners were moved to the new gaol south of the town. After lengthy negotiations, the site was offered to the National Pioneer Women’s Hall of Fame for dual use; a women’s museum and the preservation of the stories and buildings of the Alice Springs Gaol and Labour Prison. On 8 March 2007 the National Pioneer Women’s Hall of Fame at the Old Alice Springs Gaol was officially opened.

The Gaol holds an important place in our local and national history and continues to have relevance to contemporary issues and the cross cultural landscape in which it sits. We have much work to do.

The women’s cell block, former HM Gaol and Labour Prison Alice Springs.

Image courtesy of Dong Wei Lui