20 Years On

On the 29 January 1998 Maitland Gaol closed its gates to New South Wales prisoners for the last time. To commemorate this occasion a series of activities are planned throughout December 2017, January and February 2018. Check out the below activities which will be part of the 20 Years On program.   

A series of travelling exhibitions will be displayed for the public from December 2017 until February 2018. These include Captured: Portraits of Crime 1870 - 1930 which will be held in the Chapel, Caring for the Incarcerated which will be held in the Auditorium, and Behind these Walls by Brett Dicks which can be found in B-Wing. You can find further information on these exhibitions by clicking here

As part of 20 Years On, commemorating 20 years since Maitland Gaol’s closure, the Gaol will be unlocking it’s gates for the community on the 28th January 2018. The Gaol will be open for visitors from 10.00am until 4.00pm and for a gold coin donation visitors can have a look in the Gaol, inspect new and travelling exhibitions and enjoy a raft of programmed activities throughout the day. More information regarding the activities can be found below.  
Please note most of  the activities will be free, any activity with $ will incur a small fee.


   - Children’s activities     

  • Prisoner exercise routine
  • Shoot the hoop competition
  • Hand washing cloths just like the prisoners use to

    - Food trucks will be onsite to keep the family fed ($)

    - BBQ hosted by Morpeth Men's Shed ($)

    - Devonshire tea by the East Maitland CWA ($)

    - Garden talks

  • Bee Keeping by Hunter Amateur Bee Association
  • Vegetable gardening
  • Rose gardening

    - Train tours ($)

  • These trackless trains tours will be running around the outside of the Gaol walls. Participants will hear interesting information about how the land around the Gaol was utilised by staff and prisoners. 

    - Access to usually restricted areas

    - Performances  

  • Maitland Musical Society
  • Prison Poetry Readings

    - Self Guided Audio Tours available with your own device only  

  • A number of new permanent displays will also be installed for this period. Explore the site to see what you can spot.  

An official function will be held on Monday 29 January 2018 to commemorate the Gaol’s closure. Hosted by Maitland City Council's new mayor, the function will be themed around looking forward, and will focus on achievements made since the site’s decommissioning and the plans for the future. Access to exhibitions and a site tour will be included in the mornings activities as well as a morning tea supplied by East Maitland CWA.