Unseen gaoler’s residence set to open for public

HISTORY buffs and casual visitors alike will rejoice as, for the first time the Richmond Gaol is set to provide an insight into how the “other half” of the prison population lived.

The Richmond Gaol Historic Site has recently received a government grant that has gone towards the complete restoration of the gaoler’s residence.

Previously, the building at the popular tourist attraction was closed due to health and safety issues.

Richmond Gaol Historic Site manager David Kearney said it had been a long time coming.

“The house has never been open to the public and everyone would ask why they couldn’t get in there,” he said.

“It’s absolutely well-deserved – it’s an important part of the gaol and therefore an important part of history.

“For it now to be opened is really exciting and will add to the visitor’s whole experience.”

Mr Kearney said a lot of thought had gone into the restoration.

“The building has been totally gutted, the roof has been replaced with a more ‘true to style’ old-fashioned tin roof, and all of the walls have been re-rendered,” he said.

“We have even had a paint expert in to determine the colour of paint that was used back in the day.”

It is expected the gaoler’s residence will be open to the public in late August.

The Richmond Gaol is the oldest convict jail in Australia in original condition.

It was built over a period of years, between 1825 and 1840.

From 1877, the gaol was utilised as the local lock-up until it was closed in 1928.

It opened again in the 1940s as an historic site and visitor attraction.

Caption: Richmond Gaol Historic Site manager David Kearney said there was much excitement surrounding the opening of the restored gaoler’s residence.