Artist to breathe new life into Old Castlemaine Gaol

The Old Castlemaine Gaol at 36-42 Bowden St, Castlemaine, has sold for about $1.5 million.

Celebrated artist David Bromley and fashion designer Yuge Bromley have splashed about $1.5 million to buy the Old Castlemaine Gaol with a vision to transform it into an arts precinct.

The creative couple “immediately fell in love” with the 1861 property, which has been run as a cafe and tourist destination, including an escape room experience, since last sold in 2012.

Colliers International head of prestige residential Kim McQueen says the pair plans to create a sculptural and installation-based arts museum or arts precinct.

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“David and Yuge were looking for a very unique, specific type of property in the central highlands region of Victoria and this happened to come my way, so I suggested it and they immediately fell in love once they had a look at it,” she said.

A deal was negotiated quickly before the property was due to hit the market later this year.

The Bromleys said they loved Castlemaine — and an adventure.

“When we first stepped foot on the grounds of the jail and turned back towards the sublime view of Castlemaine we felt a great sense that it had the strength of presence to house something very iconic and not seen before in the central highlands of Victoria,” Yuge Bromley said.

“We hope people will experience a reinterpretation of the jail’s architecture. While it was designed to make the original inhabitants feel insignificant, we want visitors to feel uplifted through the art.”

David and Yuge Bromley

David and Yuge Bromley. Picture: Supplied/Carly Ravenhall/Reymond Communications

The Bromleys sold their work-of-art country house at 131 Main Rd, Hepburn Springs for $1.7 million late last year.

The buyers received a bonus two murals painted by David Bromley on the walls in the property’s separate laundry and barbecue rooms.

The Bromleys fully renovated and refurbished that residence after buying it about four years ago to live in with their children.

This article from the Herald Sun first appeared as “New life for Old Castlemaine Gaol after Bromley buy”.