Built as part of an extension to the original site, C Wing was the first building constructed to house female prisoners.
C Wing is available to view on self guided audio and guided tours during the day and night. If you're lucky you may get the opportunity to sleep in this wing on one of our public sleepovers, and it can be booked for private sleepovers. It is regularly used for filming and is available for this purpose by contacting us directly.
During the 1880s an extension to the original gaol site was approved and began construction. This area would contain the new women's wing, large workshop space and works storage shed used by male prisoners. In 1887 the extension to the perimeter wall was completed and work immediately turned to the workshop construction. C Wing, also known as the women's wing, started construction in 1894. The building was to include 12 cells, a women's workroom, women's hospital, attendants room, laundry and warders cottage.
The building was completed in 1897 with 12 cells for the women downstairs and the workroom and hospital upstairs.The female warders cottage was finished some months later. Following the completion of this wing Maitland Gaol became a principle gaol for women. However low internment rates for women combined with generally short sentences meant that this classification was not sustained.
Even so two lunacy cells were installed (cell # 11 and 12) and are still visible today marked by the observation windows cut into the sandstone. These cells were originally padded which consisted of a timber board attached to the wall, covered in leather, filled with horse hair.
Women were removed from this wing in 1899 and were moved back to the women's shelter, which had been a women's work place and day rooms prior to the completion of C Wing. This had been converted into a small number of cells and called D Wing, C Wing was then repurposed as wing for male prisoners. The upstairs section of this building was converted from it's prior short lived use to cells, the wing now consisting of 24 two out cells (for up to two prisoners). It would continue to be used up until the sites closure and for many years housed short term prisoners known as 'debtors' and later sex offenders.
This substantial building has only undergone minor restoration projects over the last 20 years. Built sometime later than the two original wings, it is younger by almost 50 years. This combined with the works undertaken by Corrective Services during the sites operation has kept this building in fairly good condition. The below has been completed, with further maintenance expected to be required in the near future.
Replacement of defective guttering and downpipes to make the building watertight.
Paint works undertaken to maintain paint colours as at sites closure in 1998