With its foreboding 5m-high walls enclosing a nearly 6-hectare site, the old convict-era prison still dominates present-day Fremantle, Western Australia with its tales of adventure and hardship living on in the city’s imagination.
In 2010 its cultural status was recognised, along with that of 10 other penal buildings, as part of the Australian Convict Sites entry on the Unesco World Heritage list.
The first convicts were made to build their own prison, constructing it from beautiful pale limestone dug out of the hill on which it was built.
From 1855 to 1991, 350,000 people were incarcerated here, although the highest numbers held at any one time were 1200 men and 58 women.
Of those, 43 men and one woman were executed on site, the last of which was serial killer Eric Edgar Cooke in 1964.