Boggo Road Gaol

Boggo Road Gaol was a notorious Australian prison located on Annerley Road in Dutton Park, an inner southern suburb of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. The site is the only surviving intact gaol in Queensland that reflects penological principles of the 19th century. For many years it was Queensland's main prison.

It was officially known as "Brisbane Jail" but was commonly known as "Boggo Road Jail" because Annerley Road became known as "Boggo Road" due to its poor condition, after originally being named "Bolgo Road". Boggo Road was originally an unofficial and unmaintained short-cut between Ipswich Road and Stanley Street that became very boggy after rain.


The first cellblock opened on 2 July 1883, and over the years many other buildings came and went on the site. The first buildings were built by Robert Porter, contained 57 cells and were constructed using materials from the demolished Petrie Terrace Jail. In 1903 a prison was built to hold female prisoners. This later became known as the No.2 Division, and is now the only prison building still standing. It is heritage-listed. The 'No.1 Division' built in 1883 was the scene of 42 hangings, including the hanging of Ernest Austin in 1913—the last execution in Queensland. A new prison was built around the perimeter of No.1 prison during the 1960s and No.1 prison was demolished leaving area for a oval and recreational facilities for the newly built prison and this prison had running cold water and toilet facilities in all cells. Under the oval was the facility that became known as the "black hole" where prisoners were subjected to "punishment". The "black hole" continued in use until the late '80s.

Protests at the gaol during the 1980s saw inmates undertake hunger strikes, roof top protests, and rioting over the poor conditions and treatment. The prison was constantly in the headlines and became notorious around Australia. Cells did not have any form of sanitation and facilities for washing were lacking. Prisoners were required to use a bucket through the evening for toilet breaks and empty it, or 'slop out', in the morning. A Queensland Government inquiry into the living conditions of State prisons found Boggo Road to be outdated and inadequate for prisoners' needs. No.2 Division was closed in 1989. No.1 division was closed in 1992 and was demolished in 1996 (a small section of what was "C5" and guard tower still remain). A modern (by 1960's standards) prison for women operated adjacent to this site until 2000 and was demolished in 2006.[]

Since 1992 the No.2 Division has been home to the Boggo Road Gaol Museum, which featured displays of prison-related artefacts. Throughout the 1990s ex-officers conducted guided tours of the site, and from 2003 the museum and tours were operated by the Boggo Road Gaol Historical Society, a non-profit incorporated association of volunteers. Like many other similar places around the country, the site also hosted ghost tours.

Redevelopment of the surrounding site began in 2006, leading to the temporary closure of the Boggo Road Gaol historical site. The No.2 Division prison buildings will be preserved according to its heritage listing. It is expected to re-open around 2011. The redevelopment will be called Boggo Road Urban Village and will be completed in 2010.

The gaol was originally designed to cater for 40 male prisoners serving as a holding place for prisoners heading to St Helena Island in Moreton Bay. However by 1989 there were 187 male prisoners and the women's facility had around 200 additional prisoners.

Notable prisoners

  • Michael Peterson, Australian surfing legend
  • Nathan Jones, actor and professional wrestler
  • James Finch and Andrew Stuart, the "Whiskey Au-Go-Go" murderers
  • Arthur 'Slim' Halliday, murderer and escapologist
  • Patrick Kenniff (also known as Queensland's last Bushranger (Outlaw or Highwayman))
  • Ellen Thomson (only woman hanged in Queensland)
  • Craig Petersen, Heavyweight Boxing Champion
  • Debbie Kilroy, prisoner rights activist, founder of Sisters Inside
  • Hon. Gordon Brown, President of the Senate (Australia)


42 prisoners were hanged at the Gaol.

Name Year of birth Year of death Place of origin
James Gardiner 1864 1883 Scotland
Jango c.1866 1883 Australia (Aboriginal)
George 1858 1883 Australia (Aboriginal)
Walter Edward Gordon 1857 1885 England
Tim Tie 1856 1886 China
Wong Tong 1857 1886 China
Christopher Pickford 1856 1887 England
Ellen Thompson 1846 1887 Ireland
John Harrison 1860 1887 England
Edmond Duhamel 1851 1888 France
Sedin 1864 1888 Java
Donald c.1863 1892 Australia (Aboriginal)
Francis Charles Horrocks 1875 1892 Queensland
George Gleeson 1865 1892 India
Leonard William Moncado 1850 1892 Chile
George Thomas Blantern 1858 1893 England
Hatsuro Abe 1863 1894 Japan
Mi Orie 1866 1895 Malaita Island
Narasemai 1862 1895 Malaita Island
Sayer (Safhour) 1870 1895 Malaita Island
Jacky 1864 1895 Australia (Aboriginal)
Frank Tinyana 1858 1895 Filipino
Willie Broom 1870 1900 Australia (Aboriginal)
Charles Beckman 1859 1901 Germany
Wandee 1881 1901 South Sea Islands
John Rheuben 1846 1901 Portugal
Arafau 1879 1901 South Sea Islands
David Alexander Brown 1846 1901 USA
Patrick Kenniff 1865 1903 NSW
Sow Too Low 1875 1903 Malaita Island
Gosano 1870 1905 South Sea Islands
James Warton 1845 1905 Ireland
Johannes 1867 1906 Ceylon (Sri Lanka)
Twadiga 1876 1906 Solomon Islands
Look Kow 1844 1906 China
August Millewski 1855 1907 Germany
Bismarck 1886 1909 Australia (Aboriginal)
Arthur Ross 1888 1909 England
Alexander Bradshaw 1882 1910 Queensland
George David Silva 1884 1912 Queensland/Ceylon
Charles Deen 1865 1913 Ceylon
Ernest Austin 1890 1913 Victoria

Popular Culture

Boggo Road is mentioned in the Australian soap opera Prisoner () as the prison where Joan Ferguson worked at prior to coming to Melbourne.

See also

  • Boggo Road Busway


External links

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Kimberley Norton
19 June 2018
The Ghost Tour here was very interesting & entertaining.???? Something a little different.????
Craig Lancaster
9 August 2011
Check out the open window and see if you can catch the resident ghosts looking out at you.
nathan kennedy
22 December 2012
Artisan food extremely expensive...beware
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16,513 people have been here
0.1km from Eastern Busway, Dutton Park QLD 4102, Australia Get directions

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