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J Ward Museum Complex

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Address: Girdlestone Street, Ararat, Victoria 3377, Australia
Phone Number: (03) 5352 3357
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 114 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 85
  • 24
    Very good
  • 1
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Eye opener

What a very sad history this place has. It is important for people to know what the past held for some poor unfortunate people. Found this place well worth the time spent on the... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed 2 weeks ago
h h
Melbourne, Australia
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114 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 114: English reviews
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
62 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

What a very sad history this place has. It is important for people to know what the past held for some poor unfortunate people. Found this place well worth the time spent on the tour and after. The guide (Bob) gave an excellent commentary and tour. A must is to eat/drink in the dining room. The food was great/cheap and... More 

Thank h h
Ballarat, Australia
Level Contributor
123 reviews
56 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

We toured this museum with "Ken" who loved his history and enjoyed explaining the fascinating but at times, brutal background of this disturbing place. We were taken through the various buildings and learned so much about the criminally insane and their treatment. It truly was fascinating. The tour included the kitchens, exercise yard, 1800s graffiti, Chapel; gallows; and isolation cells.... More 

Thank Bluedog908
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2016

This tour covers the history, from turn of the century to recent, housing and treatment of criminals with mental health problems. Along with the stories of the lives of those who were incarcerated with it's walls. I recommend the overnight stay.

Thank Stephen F
Level Contributor
16 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2016

The J Ward Gaol tour is 2 hours of fascinating architectural history, coupled with the 100+ year age of the buildings providing wonder as to the craftsmanship of the stonemasons of the day. But beyond the outside wonder of architecture delves deeply into the broad history of the Gaol - from its original inception as a prison to that of... More 

Thank Ken C
Level Contributor
21 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2016

What a fascinating place and also very sad. The tour guide really knew his history. Fantastic museum, we also watch a video at the end of the tour dated back to the 1970s, brilliant. I would recommend seeing J Ward if you are passing through Ararat, or stay. Volunteers do a wonderful job.

Thank Debbie N
Blaxland, Australia
Level Contributor
208 reviews
80 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2016

We toured this place. What a fascinating but at the same time a very disturbing place. We were taken through different parts of the museum and we learned about the treatment that happened there. We were shown where they were housed. We went up a stone spiral staircase to the guards tower where they could watch people in the yards.... More 

Thank John W
Greater Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2016

Well worth the time and run by friendly and knowledgeable volunteers. Really appreciated the stories and the scones and coffee afterwards.

Thank Ian H
Swan Hill, Australia
Level Contributor
148 reviews
91 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2016

A very interesting insight into what and how J Ward was run. Thanks to volunteers for showing us through and telling the stories of how it was, not so nice, but a fact of life.

Thank turoar
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Level Contributor
17 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2016

We did a day tour through the old Gaol and Hospital very sad to see how they were treated back then but was very eye opening with history and stories don't just drive through Ararat go see this place

Thank Spadgenizzle
Ballarat, Australia
Level Contributor
58 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2016

Ararat's Firmer prison and J Ward asylum is a must see if touring the Grampians and Pyrenees region. The guide we had was very entertaining with so many takes and anecdotes to share with us over our 2 hour tour. It cost us only $13 pp and was worthy of more. Enclosed within 6 metre walls have been many interesting... More 

Thank David W

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