Fremantle Stuff > prisons > Perth jails/gaols. See also: prisons.

Perth gaols

The 'Old Perth Jail' - a six-cell lockup - may have been established in 1830 (and demolished in 1855) on the corner of what became Pier St, on the site where the Deanery still stands. If so, it was opposite what would be (the first, Reveley-built) Government House when Stirling moved into it in 1835. There was a guardhouse in the Barracks for the detention of errant servicemen. That building was the original barracks.

Simon Nevill's conjectural sketch map: 22.

Cyril Bryan:
THE DEANERY. To the Editor. Sir, - Dean Moore in "proving" that the first gaol stood on the present Burt Hall site, has only scratched on the surface of history. The gaol he talks about was really a lock-up attached to the old officers' quarters (now displaced by the Burt Hall) when Colonel Phillips established himself there as Commissioner of Police. The first gaol stood on the present Deanery site, and for that I have the evidence of Surveyor-General Roe and Alfred Hillman (his draughtsman [draftsman]) and Captain Irwin. I speak from documents, not from hearsay, save when that is substantiated by documentary evidence - and that in the original. And I might add that I knew the old officers' quarters before and better than Archbishop Riley, for they were almost my home; and I am acquainted with their history from the time they were built. As for my "legend that a native was executed somewhere on the spot," permit me to express my intense astonishment at Dean Moore's ignorance of local history. If the trial and shooting of Midgegaroo on the site of the Deanery is "legend" then Lieutenant-Governor Irwin is a practical joker of the first magnitude. - Yours, etc., CYGNET [Cyril Bryan, letter to the West Australian 31 July 1936: 22.]

There was also a riverside jail, in 1852-3, near the Reveley 1836 courthouse in what is now Supreme Court Gardens and therefore not far from the river at that time - and there was also a police station there. It would have a convenient place to hold prisoners before and after sentencing, and before they were transported downriver to incarceration in the Fremantle Round House.

Perth Jail was built later, on Beaufort Street, near the corner of Francis Street. It still exists. Photo from Wikipedia.

References and Links

Neville, Simon J. 2007, Perth and Fremantle: Past and Present, privately published, WA.

Garry Gillard | New: 4 June, 2018 | Now: 1 April, 2022