Gaol Road, George Town, Penang

Gaol Road, George Town

Gaol Road is a two-way road along the western edge of the Penang Prison in George Town. It stretches from northeast to southwest, between Western Road to the south and Tull Road to the north.

The road was created in the late 19th. century, as the British were shifting the prison and military facilities out of the centre of George Town to the west.

Gaol Road sign, George Town, Penang

Gaol Road sign. The official Malay translation for the road is Jalan Penjara.


Gaol Road was obviously named after the Penang Prison along the road.

Gaol is the older term for the word 'jail'. It has its roots in Latin and old French languages, and was more commonly used between the 17th. and 19th. centuries.


Gaol Road has been in existence since at least the late 19th. century. At the time, as George Town was expanding westwards and its population continued to increase, the British Army found it necessary to move its barracks, prison and parade grounds out of the town centre to the west.

Between the 1850s and 1870s, the British Army occupied large tracts of land between Macalister Road and Dato' Keramat Road, turning the area west of George Town proper into a military precint. The Penang Prison itself was moved to its present location in the 1870s.

Today, the still-functioning Penang Prison is the oldest jail in Malaysia.

Notable Landmark

Penang Prison

Political Representation

Penang State Government

N.25 Pulau Tikus State Assemblyman : Yap Soo Huey (Democratic Action Party)

Malaysian Federal Government

P.048 Bukit Bendera Member of Parliament : Zairil Khir Johari (Democratic Action Party)


  1. Khoo S.N., 2007. Streets of George Town, Penang. Areca Books.
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