Richmond Gaol

37 Bathurst Street, Richmond

Saturday, Feb 24

Sunday, Feb 25

Booking required

Book now

Architects: David Lambe (1825), Extension: John Lee Archer (1835)

Richmond Gaol is Australia’s oldest intact prison; established in 1825, it predates the penal colony at Port Arthur. Originally a 13.5-square-meter building, overcrowding in the early 1830s led to modifications by Colonial Architect John Lee Archer, expanding the structure with separate wings for male and female prisoners. A two-story addition in 1833 accommodated the gaoler and Javelin men. The female wing included a cookhouse and bake oven. The stone wall erected in 1840 was built to enhance security.

Until 1840, the ‘Assignment System’ employed convicts on public works, including projects like the Richmond Bridge and St Luke’s Anglican Church. Inmates ranged from those in chain gangs on government projects to those awaiting trial or punishment in Hobart Town. Notable prisoners included: Ikey Solomon, believed to have inspired Charles Dickens’ Fagin (from Oliver Twist); and Tasmanian Aboriginal leader, Eumarrah, captured by Gilbert Robertson’s roving party in 1828, joining Robinson’s ‘Friendly Mission’ after 12 months in Richmond Goal.

As convict transportation ceased in the mid-1850s, Richmond Gaol transitioned into a watch house and holding cells by the 1860s. Abandoned in the 1920s, it became a State Reserve in 1945 and a museum under the National Parks and Wildlife Service in the 1960s, preserving its historical significance.

Open: Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 February: 10 am – 4 pm, entry fees apply.

Richmond Goal is offering our Open House Richmond visitors 50% discount when they present their registration ticket. Only valid over the Open House Richmond Weekend, Saturday 24 & Sunday 25 February 2024. Not to be used in conjunction with any other discount.

Open House Richmond Discounted Entry Fees:
Adults: $6
Children: $3
Family $15 (2 adults and children 5 – 16 yrs)

Please see the Richmond Gaol website for more details.


Richmond | Coal River Valley

Building Type


Architectural Period




History of Richmond

New to Program


Stair Access Only

Uneven Surfaces

See. Snap. Share. Win.

Share your pics of your favourite places and the stories that go with them on Instagram or Facebook, using the hashtags #oh_hobart and #oh_launceston to enter this year’s photo competition. Stay tuned for a host of prizes.