The Oatlands Gaol House is heritage-listed building at Oatlands in the Tasmanian Midlands. Oatlands is an hour’s drive north of Hobart (84 kilometres/52 miles).
Oatlands was established as a military garrison in 1827 and was the primary military outpost in inland Tasmania. Over the next decade, close to 90 buildings were constructed in the town using convict labour, including the court house, soldiers’ barracks, watch house, and officers’ quarters. Today, the town has one of the largest collections of intact Georgian architecture in Australia.
Completed in 1835, the Oatlands Gaol was designed to hold over 200 prisoners but was never fully occupied. Used as a military Gaol and municipal prison until 1936, the complex was closed and largely demolished in 1937. The Gaol’s main use since the 1950s has been as the site of Oatlands’ municipal swimming pool.
You can still see the Gaol’s crumbling sandstone walls and the intact Gaoler’s residence, which is rumoured to be haunted. A conservation project is being planned for this historic site, beginning in 2007 with an initial restoration project for the Gaoler’s residence.