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Heritage Places of Adelaide

Former Adelaide Gaol


18 Gaol Road ADELAIDE


State Heritage Place

At the time it was built the Adelaide Gaol was the largest and most costly public work undertaken in the infant province of South Australia. Dating from 1841, it is the State's oldest surviving penal establishment and, along with Government House, one of the oldest public buildings in South Australia.Designed by Inspector of Public Works and Buildings / Government Architect George Strickland Kingston, and intended to meet the colony's future as well as immediate needs, the 34,000 pounds project was criticised as lavish and extravagant. It contributed to the colony's bankruptcy in 1840, and the consequent replacement of George Gawler as Governor the following year. The panopticon design, emulating trends in England and America at the time, is unique in Australia, being the only one of radial design still intact. Later additions to the complex provide evidence of progressive demands for increased accommodation and security over the gaol's long history up until its closure in 1988.Adapted from:Danvers Architects, Adelaide Gaol Conservation Study Report 1986Schwager Brooks and Partners, Pty Ltd, Architects and Planners, Adelaide Gaol Conservation Plan, 1989Marsden, S, et al, Heritage of the City of Adelaide, Corporation of the City of Adelaide, 1990

Listing Information

  • Date of Listing: 8 November 1984

More Information

Disclaimer: The content in the Heritage Places of Adelaide database has been adapted from the SA Government’s South Australian Heritage Register, made available via the Data SA website under a Creative Commons licence. See: https://data.sa.gov.au/data/dataset/sa-heritage-places.

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