Boggo Road Gaol – A Female Perspective – Number Two Division

A Female Perspective – Number Two Division

Boggo Road Gaol is remembered as a place of punishment for men.  It is true… It was.   But long before men were locked up here in Number Two Division it was a prison for women!

Planning for HM Prison (females) Brisbane (later known as  Number Two Division for women) commenced in early 1901.  It was found that the prisons for females in South East Queensland were suffering from a number of ailments; Overcrowding and poor facilities being the main complaints.

The Fortitude Valley Gaol, Toowoomba Gaol and the Roma Gaol, were old and decrepit, their facilities were simply too small or were insecure.   Ultimately though, it came down to financial reasons.   Repairs and extensions would have cost far more than the construction of an entirely new prison.

It simply was financially more viable too, for the prisoners all to be housed in one, new, modern prison.

Number Two Division, Just prior to completion October 1903.

And so it was, plans were drafted and a tender sought.  Messrs A. Lind and son was the successful bid.   Number Two Division would take some 18, 795 pounds and two years to construct.

Modeled on the already constructe HM Prison (men) Brisbane (later known as  Number One Division for men), it had specially constructed Warder and Wardress accommodation some of which, those of you with a keen eye will still be able to see today.

Wardress Accommodation 1903

Warders Accommodation 1903

Number Two Division was officially handed over by the construction team on the 6th of October 1903.  Sixteen ladies and their wardress Sarah Browne, moved in that afternoon.

In celebration of Queensland Women’s Week and International Women’s Day,  We are delighted to share the stories of Boggo Road Gaol from a female perspective.

This Sunday,  a special tour is being held in honour of Queensland Women’s Week.   A morning tea will be served at 10am with a bargain ticket price of $20 per adult ticket for the 11am History Tour!

So ladies, come along and join us!  Gentlemen bring along the ladies in your lives and lock them up for a couple hours!  This special event is bookings essential as places are strictly limited.

Book here to reserve your place!! You do not want to miss this!!


Can’t make it on Sunday?   That’s okay!  We have an event on Thursday 8th of May for International Women’s Day.

You can book here for that. Places for this event too are strictly limited and bookings essential


This article was contributed by Research Coordinator Sue Olsen as part of the ongoing research program for Boggo Road Gaol Pty Ltd.  The aim of the program is to bring to light and share articles relating to Boggo Road for the purposes of review and study.   Do you have a story to share or something you would like us to know about?  You can contact the research team here


Boggo Road Gaol
Boggo Road Gaol