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Report - D Division, Pentridge Prison. Melbourne, Australia. March 2012.

Discussion in 'European and International Sites' started by Matt., Mar 11, 2012.

  1. Matt.

    Matt. 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

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    The History.

    Pentridge was originally established in the December of 1850 as a stockade to cater for the overcrowding at Melbourne Gaol. When Pentridge was first built, the walls surrounding the prison were not the giant bluestone ones you see today, but a mere 1.2 metre wooden fence. The buildings in the grounds were small wooden huts on wheels watched by an insufficient amount of guards.

    Between the years of 1857 to 1864 Pentridge became a high security prison, the bluestone walls and towers were built around the perimeter and the huts were replaced with single person cells. In 1894 a three storey building was constructed on the grounds to be used to as a female prison and remained so until 1956, the three storey building then became ‘D’ division as its now known. ‘D’ division housed the infamous hanging beam, where prisoners who committed serious crimes met their fate. Adjacent to the hanging beam was a room that was twice the size of the other cells where the man who was next in line to be hung spent his final night. The last man to be hung was Ronald Ryan in 1967 after he was thought to have killed a guard during an attempt to escape, seeing that he may have been innocent the hangings were discontinued. Part of Pentridge closed in 1997 as part of a plan to make prisons more private. The section of the prison that remained open later closed in 1999. During its time Pentridge housed some of Melbourne’s most notorious criminals including Ned Kelly, Mark ‘Chopper’ Read and Harry Power.

    The Explore.

    My visit to Pentridge wasn’t in any way intended until one thing led to another. Seeing as I was passing in that direction, I had decided to pull in and see what updates in the redevelopment and construction had occurred. Since my last visit, several more apartment blocks had been constructed which resulted in a new section of what was previously inaccessible being opened. Strolling through a few smaller and rather empty workshop buildings, I ended up on the rear side of several unoccupied apartments, where I came across the building pictured in the third photo down.

    I didn’t expect to find a way inside but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity which arose. Inside, it was what I expected; another medium sized empty room, directly ahead of me was a doorway into a hall where I had expected to see several small offices and nothing more, to my surprise I found myself standing in D Division.

    The Photographs.

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    Thanks for looking.
     
    #1 Matt., Mar 11, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2012

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