Gaol founders

George Strickland Kingston made his mark in the new colony as a civil engineer, architect and surveyor. In 1840, he was commissioned to design Adelaide's new gaol. The plans he drew up were based on the contemporary American radiating model, used on some gaols in Ireland and England's Pentonville prison.

William Ashton  

The first Governor of the Gaol, William Baker Ashton, was born in 1800 and arrived in South Australia in November 1838 with wife, Charlotte, and their three children. He accepted the position as Governor of the original gaol - the 'Stone Jug' - on 1 January 1839.

He later became the first Governor of Adelaide Gaol and lived with his family above the main gate entrance. Charlotte soon became matron to the female prisoners and worked alongside her husband. There were even rumours of the place being nicknamed Ashton's Hotel.

He held that position until his death in 1854.

William Ashton's disturbed spirit is said to visit Adelaide Gaol regularly.

Discover more about Adelaide Gaol for yourself. Open seven days a week