Visitors to Maitland Gaol will soon be able to climb to the top of the surveillance towers for a unique view previously only seen by officers.
Work is officially underway on a brand new tour offering at Maitland Gaol called The Tower Experience, with construction expected to finish in August.
Work on the spiral staircase inside tower one started earlier this week.
Council is also removing flagstones at the base of the stairs and reopening the tower windows to prepare for the new program.
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Maitland Gaol Heritage Interpretation officer Zoe Whiting said the experience would "give visitors a new perspective of the historic site".
"It's a wonderful opportunity to attract more visitors to Maitland Gaol," Ms Whiting said.
"We're excited to be giving patrons the chance to tour the gantries for the first time and see the site from a perspective only seen by officers.
"Visitors can also enjoy views into East Maitland and beyond to Maitland Central."
As part of this project, council is retaining, sealing and lighting the existing timber spiral staircase in tower six to let visitors peek at the gaol's original fixtures.
When the experience opens, visitors can step inside the gaol's tower, climb the stairs and walk the gantries, much like officers would have done when it was still in operation.
Ms Whiting said new interpretations of the site would "explore the early reasons surveillance of this nature was introduced and the construction of the towers".
"We want to identify changes in the way the towers were used and examine the impact of towers on staff and prisoners." she said.
There will be no disruption to the normal operation of Maitland Gaol, including tours, while work takes place.
Bookings will be available once construction wraps up, which is expected to be in August, with The Tower Experience set for future expansion to allow for night tours.
This visitor experience is in addition to more than $11.7 million worth of works which are part of the Maitland Gaol Development Plan.
This plan is proudly supported by the NSW Government's tourism and major events agency Destination NSW, through the 2020-21 Experience Enhancement Fund.
Visit www.maitlandgaol.com.au for more information on the Maitland Gaol Development Plan.
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