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Governor and staff at the Adelaide Gaol
Title : Governor and staff at the Adelaide Gaol Governor and staff at the Adelaide Gaol
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Creator : Glover, Henry Heath, artist
Source : B 17790
Date of creation : 1850
Format : Artwork
Dimensions : 380 x 460 mm
Contributor : State Library of South Australia
Catalogue record
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Description :

An illustration of the Adelaide Gaol, with Governor W.B. Ashton and his staff. His son A.J. Ashton is also pictured, as a boy. The watercolour gives an insight into the interior of the old Adelaide Gaol beyond the exterior wall.

Early prison accommodation in South Australia was firstly comprised of onboard detention on the Buffalo ship. The prison moved on land to tents, followed by a wooden building. Several escapes and the poor conditions of these various gaols prompted the construction of a fortified stone building. Situated in the Adelaide parklands near the corner of North and West Terraces, Adelaide Gaol was designed by George Strickland Kingston. Building began in 1840 while Governor Gawler was in office. Gawler promoted several public works like the building of the Gaol, in order to provide employment during difficult economic times and encourage development in the colony.

The original design for Adelaide Gaol included two towers, but only one was completed. Castellation was due to Governor Grey's reduction of construction funds in 1841. Gawler was later dismissed, largely due to the excessive cost of the Gaol which had critical repercussions in the new colony.

Adelaide Gaol was known as 'Ashton's Hotel', with reference to its Governor, William Baker Ashton. Henry Heath Glover's art work of 1850 depicts Ashton, his young son Albert, and staff at the entrance to the Gaol. In that year the second stage of the Gaol was completed, and a matron appointed to oversee female prisoners. Hangings took place at the Gaol until 1964.

Related names :

Ashton, A. J.

Ashton, William Baker, 1800-1854

Kingston, George Strickland, 1807-1880

Coverage year : 1850
Period : 1836-1851
Place : Adelaide city
Region : Adelaide city
Further reading :

Adelaide Gaol: visitors guide , Adelaide: State Heritage Branch, 1990

Colwell, M and Alan Naylor. Adelaide: an illustrated history, [Joslin, S. Aust.]: McP, 1981

Johnston, Malcolm David. A governor, aye every inch a governor: a biography of William Baker Ashton, the first governor of the Adelaide gaol, Blair Athol, S. Aust.: M. Johnston, [1990]

Lock-Weir, Tracey Visions of Adelaide, 1836-1886 Adelaide : Art Gallery of South Australia, 2005

Scheiffers, Sue. Inside: a brief history of the Adelaide Gaol, [Strathalbyn, S. Aust.: S. Scheiffers], 2002

Heritage of the city of Adelaide: an illustrated guide, editors: Susan Marsden, Paul Stark and Patricia Sumerling, Adelaide: Corporation of the City of Adelaide, 1990

Langmead, Donald, Accidental architect, Darlinghurst, N.S.W.: Crossing Press, 1994

Internet links :

The Adelaide Gaol website

State Library of South Australia, General Information Factsheets Online: Houses and buildings in South Australia

National Library of Australia. Pictures catalogue




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