Today it's a campus of Federation University and home to a technology park for IT and communications businesses. In the past it has also served as the site of Ballarat Museum, the Ballarat Gaol, and birthplace of Ballarat's biggest and most popular brewery and the famed Ballarat Bertie brand.
It was the site for Ballarat's gallows and numerous public hangings; the infamous bushranger Captain Moonlite escaped from here in 1872 after cutting a hole through a wall, capturing a warden and releasing seven other prisoners before escaping over the wall using a blanket rope.
On one side of this pedestrian-only area you can see a giant iron door and guard towers above a bluestone wall. That's the old Ballarat Gaol. The big chimney to the right is the former Ballarat School of Mines Brewery complex, a bluestone and brick complex designed by Henry Casselli, engaged by the partnership of beer brewers William Tulloch, James Coglan and hotel owner Alexander McLaren. In 1857, a partnership was formed that merged their interests in three breweries and more than 90 hotels, officially becoming the Ballarat Brewery in 1895.
The School of Mines Ballarat was the first of its kind - now the third oldest tertiary education institution in Australia - originating in 1870, inspiring similar Schools of Mines across the nation. It was conceived principally as a vocational institute, training students in the practiucal crafts and techniqus of mdoern mining.
The remaining chimney was rebuilt as the Brewery Complex by the School of Mines, containing classrooms and lecture theatres; the School of Mines Complex now houses tech and communications companies, as part of the Ballarat Technology Park.
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