Thursday, June 20, 2024

Maitland Gaol DA to open towers to tourists

Future visitors to Maitland Gaol are set to climb the site’s historic ramparts, after a development application for alterations to one of the prison’s walls and two guard towers was approved at last night’s Maitland City Council meeting.

Council says the alterations and additions to the site will open up access to two of the Gaol’s existing towers, enabling pedestrian tours along the gantry walkways, and affording visitors a new and exciting perspective on one of the state’s premier heritage listed sites.

The existing timber spiral staircases will be retained, sealed and lit, enabling tour participants to catch a glimpse of the Gaol’s original fixtures.

Maitland Gaol Heritage Interpretation Specialist, Zoe Whiting says the new offering, known as The Tower Experience, will eventually operate both day and night tours, so that visitors to Maitland Gaol “can experience how it would have been for officers on the walls through all hours of the day”.

“Being able to access the towers and walkways will afford visitors an exciting new perspective on this former maximum security prison,” Ms Whiting said.

“The experience will be interpreted in a range of ways, to tell the unique story of the towers from the officer’s perspective for the very first time,” she said.

This visitor experience in the Maitland Gaol redevelopment is supported by the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW, through the 2020-21 Experience Enhancement Fund.

Development consent now opens the pathway to apply for final heritage approvals of the works, Council said.

This project is in addition to more than $11.6 million worth of works toward realising elements of the Maitland Gaol Development Plan, funded by over $10 million in shared State and Federal funding announced in January this year.

More information on the Maitland Gaol Development Plan can be found at

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