Stuart Town Gaol

Historical Sites and Heritage Locations Landmarks and Buildings

Take a look at early prison design and construction in remote areas, and learn more about attitudes towards imprisonment at the turn of last century at the Stuart Town Gaol in Alice Springs.

Construction of the Stuart Town Gaol and police station started in 1907 by local builders using materials sourced from the district. It is a simple design made of local stone that reflects the harsh discriminatory treatment of prisoners during the early twentieth century. As the first government building in the town it was harsh but basically functional.

The Stuart Town Gaol replaced a facility that stood adjacent to the southern side of Heavitree Gap. Its inadequate facilities and the periodic flooding of the Todd River prompted the decision to move. Construction of this new gaol was completed in 1909 and it served as the Town’s gaol until 1938.

Today it houses memorabilia and stories relating to police and prisoner history and life in Central Australia. Open to the public via keys that are collected from the Hartley St. School. Refundable key deposit and entry fee are paid at the School. Refer to Hartley Street School opening hours.

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