J Ward Museum Complex, Ararat

#1 of 16 in Things to do in Ararat
Must see · Specialty Museum · Museum
J Ward Museum Complex provides a historical glimpse at the Australian penal system. Starting in 1859 as a jail for miscreants of the local goldfields, J Ward started housing the criminally insane when the gold ran out less than three decades later. Today, you can tour the defunct prison and hear stories about its inmates from local volunteers. A visit provides a break on the Melbourne-Adelaide road, if you're passing between the two cities. Put J Ward Museum Complex at the forefront of your travel plans using our Ararat online trip builder.
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J Ward Museum Complex reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
245 reviews
  • We were the only visitors on the morning tour today and the welcome was definitely warm and the tour guides happy to see us. What a friendly and welcoming crew with so many interesting stories from...  more »
  • J Ward was established as a jail in the 1860s and then became a psychiatric institution for the criminally insane. Several men were hanged there for murder. No-one wanted to be incarcerated in J...  more »
  • Very informative tour. The staff are lovely. The building is beautiful and well maintained. Really worth the visit. The gift shop items are also fairly priced.
  • After a brief trip to Ararat, we went to J Ward, to see what life was like in the 1800s, and share the people's stories with the group. Beautifully restored and cleaned just a amazing experience.

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