Maitland Gaol

Interpretation Plan
Implementation Strategy

Maitland City Council

East Maitland, NSW
Wonnarua Country

Maitland Gaol’s 150-year history contains the good, the bad and the ugly experiences of those who stepped across its threshold. The gaol was continuously operated throughout the mid nineteenth to late twentieth centuries.

Since its closure in 1998, Maitland Gaol has been open to the public through tours and is seen as one of the Hunter region’s biggest and most unique tourist attractions. It is iconic as one of the most intact country gaols.

GML was commissioned by Maitland City Council to develop a Heritage Interpretation Plan and implementation strategy for the gaol as part of new redevelopment works.

The interpretation framework focused on the emotions that an inmate or staff member would have felt being at the gaol. Shock, anger, vulnerability and even hope are explored throughout the site to prioritise the firsthand experiences as the centre point of the storytelling process.

GML collaborated with Esem Projects, a multimedia creative agency, to deliver a contemporary, robust plan that will stay relevant into the future and provided plans for next generation techniques such as soundscapes, generative artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality and 3D projects.

Not losing sight of tactile experiences, GML gave precedence to furnished environments, subtle signage, interpretive displays, lighting and sound design.

Hero image: Interpretation concept by Esem Projects.

Interpretation concept. Image: Esem Projects

Interpretation concept. Image: Esem Projects