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Side of Authority
This page contains content from police and those who supported authority.



in Coburg, a northern suburb of Melbourne see also Melbourne Gaol


Pentridge (the old name for Coburg) prison started as a stockade to receive sixteen prisoners from the overcrowded Melbourne Gaol in 1850. They were used to build Sydney Road.

The first superintendent of the stockade was Mr Samuel Barrow.

In the period 1857­–64 the stockade was transformed into a typical Pentonville-type prison with cells for each prisoner.

Importance of Pentridge


Photograph For many years Pentridge was the main prison in Victoria

What was Pentridge like in the late 1870s

By 1870 there were 650 prisoners and 100 staff.

Average age of prisoners (Argus12/11/79)

Doctor James Reed

Mr Akehurst Magistrate (Killmore31/8/1876)

Links to the KellyGang

Harry Power spent most of his 10 year sentence here after he was convicted of being a bushranger in 1870

Ned Kelly spent part of his time in the early 1870's in Pentridge and down at the gaol quarry and public works depot at Point Gelibrand.

Graves came to the conclusion that the whereabouts of the KellyGang was known to prisoners in Pentridge prior to the Wombat murders, and that the police by that means or some others gained a knowledge of where they were. (RC15529)

Correspondence with prisoners. (Argus2/12/78)

Mrs Kelly was in Pentridge at the time when she handed over her daughter (Alexandra7/6/1879)

Have you visited

What to see

What happened at the Pentridge after the time of the Kelly Gang

In May 1997 the northern half of the prison was officially closed

What is happening at the Pentridge today

Much of the area of the old Prison is being turned into a housing estate KellyGang