Cockatoo Island Gaol

Cockatoo Island Gaol - 1839-1869 & 1880-1909 Cockatoo Island was established as a “hard labour”convict prison in 1839. The convicts, shackled in irons and guarded by British troops known as ”Redcoats”, quarried sandstone. The convict built gaol and convict forged prison bars still survives, as well as buildings for the prison staff. Convicts also constructed the Fitzroy Dock and it's associated Steam Workshop which still remains intact on the level below the plateau. After the prison closed in 1869, the buildings continued to be used - firstly as an industrial school for girls, again as a prison from 1880 to 1909 and then as offices for the island's later roles as a dockyard and 20th century shipyard. In 2010 Cockatoo Island was included on the World Heritage List. Cockatoo Island’s best known prisoner was Frederick Ward (1835-1870), bushranger, alias 'Captain Thunderbolt'. Stay tuned for a page dedicated to the bushranger and his incarceration at Cockatoo Island.