Martha Needle’s headstone

Martha Needle was hanged for murder at the Old Melbourne Gaol on October 22, 1894. She was buried within the prison grounds and her grave marked with a bluestone inscribed with her initials and date of execution. As the Old Melbourne Gaol was progressively decommissioned in the early twentieth century, the bodies of executed prisoners were exhumed and re-interred at Pentridge Prison, and part of the prison’s fabric was incorporated into a sea wall at Brighton in Victoria in the 1930s.

The undated monochrome image below shows the grave marker in situ before it was buried by sand drifts over time. Knowing only that ‘it is to be found at the foot of Wellington Street,’ the only clue to its precise location was the rounded stone (red arrow) which appears to mark the southern portal of a breach in the wall, possibly for a now-buried staircase.

Excavating near what proved to be this rounded stone revealed the marker.

What 3 Words geolocation: taking.danger.park

Victorian Heritage Database article on nearby grave markers at Brighton Beach

 

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What 3 Words geolocation of Martha Needle’s historic burial ground at Pentridge: switch.engage.festivity

What 3 Words geolocation of burial ground at Pentridge: feels.ties.master

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