I love writing, taking photos, travelling and enjoying life. I have a BA of Adult and Vocational Teaching and a Master of Arts (Writing). My business card says Writer, Traveller, Camera Addict, and Bamboo Fan www.dihill.com.au
Published February 17th 2017
Let Me Out, I Didn't Do It
When I posted on FB that I was going to gaol, my friends were worried about me. What had I done? Nothing sinister. I was going to visit the famous Boggo Road Gaol. It was not the first time I had been in a gaol – as I enjoy history and have visited several on my round Australia trips. Never have I been there because of anything that I did wrong!
I had always wanted to go to Boggo Road Gaol – as this old historic place was still a working prison in the days when we first lived in Brisbane. We had driven past many times – and would look at it with a little fear, with its imposing prison walls overlooking Annerley Road. We also knew that some pretty bad things had been done by some of the folk behind the walls.
Three Levels of Cells in Prison Block
It was opened way back in 1883, and was in operation until 1989. What remains are rather sinister looking old buildings, and a fascinating place to explore history.
Women prisoners. Backs to camera for privacy.
There are so many stories about the buildings, the prisoners, and on tour one gets to go inside the cells and to hear the stories of the lives of the prisoners, both men and women, and the prison officers and their lives within the walls.
There are a number of different tours of the Gaol – The History of Boggo Road Gaol Tour, was the one I went on. It is a 90 minute child friendly tour with a Tour Guide who shares the history of the Gaol, while taking you into places that once upon a time only prisoners and prison guards would enter.
Jack Sim, Kellie and Romany in Boggo Road Gaol Office/Shop
The Guide details the famous riot of 1988, and leads you on a tour into the cells, the gatehouse, yards and more.
If you love history, you'll probably want to go on the other tours too. There's a 60 minute tour by an ex-inmate or former prison officer, an Escapes Tour which explains the successful and unsuccessful attempts to escape the prison walls.
Slim Halliday, Notorious Escapee
There's a tour of the graffiti on the cell walls (not a good one for the children!), and again one that would not be good for children, the Ghost Tours, which of course are held at night and are bound to be very spooky. For more details click here.
It was after riots in 1988 where a number of prisoners spent time on the gaol roof, protesting about the conditions of Boggo Road Gaol, that the prison was closed. There has been development around the Gaol, but enough has been left for us to explore and learn the history of this infamous place.