Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Digging Beneath the Gaol

Maitland Mercury, Monday 16 November, 2009

During 2010, an archaeological project will be undertaken at Maitland Gaol on the sites of the Cook House and Female or “D” Wing, to try to uncover more about the people who were incarcerated behind the thick stone walls. To prepare for the project, staff at the Gaol are accumulating as much evidence as possible to try and understand what has happened to these buildings. This will minimise the work on digging up the Gaol yard and ensure that the restoration of the spaces and the interpretation of the buildings installed following the investigation are as accurate as possible.

While undertaking some research recently for another enquiry, staff uncovered the photos reproduced here which were taken, it is believed, sometime during the 1970s and show the Cook House still standing and the site of the Female Wing cleared (to the right of both photographs). This was a special find as it narrowed down the time frame for the demolition of “D” Wing. The Gaol is seeking any information that members of the public may have regarding these two, now demolished buildings, especially relating to details of exactly when they were demolished and if there are any other photos available of both the interior and exteriors of the buildings. This information and images will be invaluable when the interpretation of these buildings is installed within the Gaol in the early part of 2010.

Members of the public are encouraged to contact Maitland Gaol on (02) 4936 6482 or info@maitlandgaol.com.au

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