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 A Queensland Government inquiry into the living conditions of State prisons found Boggo Road to be outdated and inadequate for prisoners' needs.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.
42 prisoners were hanged at the Gaol.
|Name||Year of birth||Year of death||Place of origin|
|Walter Edward Gordon||1857||1885||England|
|Francis Charles Horrocks||1875||1892||Queensland|
|Leonard William Moncado||1850||1892||Chile|
|George Thomas Blantern||1858||1893||England|
|Mi Orie||1866||1895||Malaita Island|
|Sayer (Safhour)||1870||1895||Malaita Island|
|Willie Broom||1870||1900||Australia (Aboriginal)|
|Wandee||1881||1901||South Sea Islands|
|Arafau||1879||1901||South Sea Islands|
|David Alexander Brown||1846||1901||USA|
|Sow Too Low||1875||1903||Malaita Island|
|Gosano||1870||1905||South Sea Islands|
|Johannes||1867||1906||Ceylon (Sri Lanka)|
|George David Silva||1884||1912||Queensland/Ceylon|
Boggo Road is mentioned in the Australian soap opera Prisoner () as the prison where Joan Ferguson worked at prior to coming to Melbourne.