I love that fact that part of one of the University of Ballarat’s campuses is a former gaol. High, thick brick walls, heavy iron gates and a creepy-looking watchtower.
The gaol was built in the mid-1800s and included a connecting tunnel from the courthouse for the prisoners. The gaol was demolished in after its closing in 1961 but there’s no mention of whether the tunnel still exists. I want to know! This tells me nothing.
One of the girls in class today said apparently prisoners were buried in the courtyard beyond the first picture’s gates. Buried standing upright. Allegedly, it was to prevent them from ever being a rest, even in death. I’m not sure if this is a myth in a town that saw so much action in the 1800s or if it’s actually true, but I reckon it’s a bit rough to have to stand for eternity. I start bitching after about twenty minutes on my feet.
I always think it’s a little bit ironic that as bratty, self-important teenagers, my friends and I would complain that being at high school, a place none of us wanted to be at, was like being in prison. Now that I’m at school because I really want to be, I go to school in a former gaol.
Also something that my seventeen-year-old self would have loved: just across the way from the gaol gates is another building. The Brewery Building. Yep, I also go to school in an old boozer. This pleases me. A lot.