Unmatched Event Experiences
Some event venues are just that, venues. The Gaol precinct, while available for events from weddings to corporate gigs and gala dinners also offers completely exclusive experience additions. Choose to start your event with an immersive story during the “Lock-Up Experience”, guests are arrested, processed and more in the midst of a tale between other prisoners and the guards where you might make it out, or not.
For mid-event experiences choose to have guests go in groups on a Ghost Tour on the Gaols top levels where the paranormal activity is said to be most frequent. For an equally unsettling and informative tour go for a walk with “The Hangman”, learn about the history at the beam amongst the stories of past prisoners.
Other experiences include the “Such A Life” Ned Kelly inspired play detailing his rise and fall, bringing guests to the stage and getting everyone involved with humour and history executed brilliantly by the duo of actors.
Find out more about the Gaol’s event experiences here.
Three Event Venues in One
For those who have never been, the Gaol precinct houses three separate and equally unique event spaces. The Old Melbourne Gaol, the Former City Watch House and the Old Magistrates Court. The Gaol being the most well-known and largest site, housing cells rising above in three tiers above the ground floor.
The Former City Watch House, however, is hidden away, used up until the ’90s to house the city’s vagrants, it contains various cells, a separate women’s and men’s recreation yard, as well as a padded-cell – all covered in the scrawled etchings of past prisoners.
The last space also hidden from sight behind La Trobe and Russell Street is the Old Magistrates Court. As the name suggests is the real former court used until 1995. Currently undergoing redevelopment and restoration, the court has been used for cocktail events, marriage ceremonies and pre-dinner drink spaces in conjunction with the Gaols spaces.
City Centre Location
The Old Melbourne Gaol precinct was one of the first sites built in Melbourne, opening way back in 1845. Heritage status over the last one-hundred-plus years means it has remained one of the most unique spaces in the city. Located at the top end of Russell Street, occupying half the city block and accessible by train, tram, car and chartered bus – making the Gaol site easily accessible for all guests.
No Theming Required
While most event venues require some form of styling to spruce them up or create the desired mood, the Old Melbourne Gaol oozes charisma and requires nothing other than some up-lights to reveal the venues raw elements. Choose to keep it minimal for events looking to maintain its natural charm or take it the other way and bring in luxe furniture to juxtapose against the stone and cells above. The choice is yours, whichever direction you take however is sure to delight and surprise guests.
History & Heritage
There are very few spaces in Melbourne with the incredible and unique history that exists within the bluestone walls surrounding the Old Melbourne Gaol. The Gaol and adjacent grounds have been maintained as well as possible over the course of their long life. The main hall serves as a museum, still housing over 60 individual cells, filled with information, paraphernalia and stories from their previous life. The Gaol housed prisoners like notorious prohibition gangster Squizzy Taylor and the ever-infamous Ned Kelly. Feel the history underfoot and learn about the stories that formed Melbourne.
Interested in holding your event at the Old Melbourne Gaol? Contact us here to enquire or read more about the spaces, capacities and times here.