Old Wentworth Gaol
Built between 1879 and 1881, The Old Wentworth Gaol is the first Australia-designed gaol. Visit the gaol and explore the warden's residence, see the austere male and female cells, exercise yards, the gaol workshop, kitchen and gaoler's residence, the tree where prisoners were shackled, the well and the hospital.
The layout for the single storey brick gaol was used as a template for gaols built in Hay and Dubbo, and Sydney's Long Bay Gaol copied the design used for the cells. The new gaol replaced over-crowded lock ups and was used until 1927.
The National Trust-classified gaol was used briefly as extra classrooms before becoming a local tourist attraction.
Building a gaol
Wentworth Gaol as it now stands was constructed because the local townspeople and clergy were concerned that the original two-celled lock-up was inadequate. It was also thought that Wentworth's location on two rivers made it an obvious choice as an administrative centre and so a larger institution was needed.
The gaol was designed by colonial architect James Barnett, who also designed the Wentworth Courthouse and Sydney's Customs House and GPO.
The bricks were made by hand from local clay by Joseph Fritz and the stone used to build the gaol came from Malmsbury, Victoria, and transported to Wentworth by train and bullock wagon. The slate for the roof was shipped from Wales.