Accessing Melbourne
Chapter 10
Parliament, a hospital, war memorial and since 1945, it has been Victoria's premier
Exhibition Venue.
It was built from Limestone quarried by David Mitchell, father of Dame Nelly Melba,
who also built Scotts Church.
Access into the Royal Exhibition Building is flat through huge double doors with
small lip, opening into a hall with polished timber floorboards, very high ceiling
which allows in an extraordinary amount of light. The walls, timber supports and
ceiling are heavily and ornately decorated with floating figures from the period. The
building is in the form of a cross, the centre piece being a huge exquisitely
decorated dome. Two large accessible unisex toilets are located in the main hall on
the left hand side but towards the Rathdowne St end.
The Old Melbourne Gaol
367 Russell St, The Old Melbourne Gaol (open daily 9.30am   4.30 pm adult $8,
child $5, concession $6, family $23, 9663 7228).
Victoria's oldest surviving penal establishment and one of the State's most
MUSEUMS & GALLERIES
distinctive groups of bluestone buildings. The Old Melbourne Gaol was erected in
stages between 1841 and 1864. The oldest remaining section now serves as a
Museum and consists of a long block (1851 53) with three rows of cells
terminating in the central hall. Of the many criminals imprisoned, executed and
buried here the most notable is Ned Kelly who was hanged in 1880. The old
scaffold still survives.
The gaol is open every day of the year, except Christmas day and good Friday. The
Old Melbourne gaol was completed in 1846 and at the time, was the largest
building on Melbourne's skyline. It was designed to house 59 men, nine women
accommodating minor offenders, short term prisoners, those on remand and
awaiting execution. The gaol closed in 1923 but not before 135 offenders were
hung by its gallows!
Access to the Old Melbourne Gaol is via the main door and the souvenir shop. There
are no steps or ramps and the area is under cover. The original flagstones on the
floor are large and quite smooth to move over but there are no accessible toilets.
There is no wheelchair access to the two upper storeys but since all the cells are
much the same, this is not much of a disadvantage. Furthermore, with a couple of
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