Wollongong Gaol

Did you know that Wollongong’s first lockup was located next to the old Courthouse at Belmore Basin and was in operation from 1860 until 1915? It was a relatively small prison that started with 12 cells. The Wollongong Gaol Entrance books give a fascinating insight into the crimes committed by local people and the harsh penalties that were often given.

In 1866, Thomas Edwards was charged with ‘exercising his horse in a public street in the town of Wollongong’. He could pay a one-pound fine or be imprisoned for 7 days. He paid the fine. Susan Simpson was charged with obscene language and had the option of paying the one-pound or spending one month in prison. It can be assumed she had no money because she was incarcerated. John Robertson ‘neglected to perform certain work’ and was given six months labour. John Evans was imprisoned for 14 days because he was ‘idle and disorderly’.

The expense of running the establishment, the efficiency of transferring prisoners to other gaols, along with the desire to better utilise the services of retaining officers to other positions, led to its closure on the 31 October 1915.

Wollongong Gaol Entrance Records Microfilm Copy: 5/1628-5/1629 R994.46 ARC Reel 2378

http://search-cloudfront.records.nsw.gov.au/agencies/3876

Wollongong Gaol Entrance Records Microfilm Copy: 5/1628-5/1629 R994.46 ARC Reel 2378