Trial Bay Gaol

The photo I have just uploaded to the previous post is a glimpse into the life of enemy German “aliens” rounded up and imprisoned in this gaol during the First World War. This granite structure on Lagger’s Point in Arakoon, looking across to South West Rocks, must have been a bittersweet prison…a gorgeous setting yet the men lacked freedom.

I think this building provided the initial catalyst for my fascination with this area, and later as my book was brought to life, became an important setting where Gustav Becker, a fictional German, was interned.

The men were given a degree of freedom, for example could walk about 1.5 km around the gaol after morning roll call until 5pm. They also had a rich cultural life ~ a weekly newspaper, new theatre productions most weeks, orchestral concerts, many different educational subjects offered as well as art and photography. Many huts or villas in the German style were built around the gaol walls.


2 thoughts on “Trial Bay Gaol

  1. My father and grandfather first took me here in the early 1960’s when I was about 8. Grandad told me about the history of the place and because at that time it was abandoned and not yet restored or converted to a tourist attraction I was able to explore and play through the entire complex. All of the ironwork , including the cell doors and stairways had been stripped but in my imagination it was a castle and depending on how I felt I could either attack or defend it. Great fun and not forgotten.


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