J Ward Lunatic Asylum


J Ward Lunatic Asylum

J Ward was a prison in Ararat built 1859 - 1861 as a maximum security psychiatric ward it closed in 1991.

It openened on 10 October 1861 with 21 prisoners incarcerated. The first Governor was Samuel Walker. In 1864 the gaol housed 40 prisoners and in 1867 John Gray became the gaol's second Governor, a position he held for ten years.

On the 15 August 1870 the first execution was conducted at the gaol, when Andrew Vere was hanged for the murder of Amos Cheale in January 1869.

The second execution at the gaol was held on 25 September 1883, when Robert Francis Burns was hanged for the murder of Michael Quinlivan.

In 1877 Henry Pinniger was appointed as the gaol's third Governor. On 6 June 1884 the gaol held its third execution, with Henry Morgan being hanged for the murder of Margaret Nolan in November 1883.

In 1884 George Fiddimont became the gaol's fourth Governor, he died of a heart attack at the goal on 14 September 1886.

In the aftermath of the Victorian gold rush the gaol was no longer required and in December 1886 the gaol building was proclaimed as the 'J Ward', part of the Ararat Lunatic Asylum.

J Ward is now a museum open to the public.

Tours are run every day except on public holidays at 11 am, 12 pm, 1pm & 2pm.

 
Girdlestone Street  Ararat Victoria 3377 | View Map New Window


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