Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

Hmp Shrewsbury (permission tour type thing)

Recommended Posts

History (kindly provided by wiki)

HM Prison Shrewsbury was a Category B/C men's prison in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England. It closed in March 2013.

The former prison site, on Howard Street, adjacent to Shrewsbury railway station, is near the site of the Dana Gaol, a medieval prison. The name The Dana is still often used for the prison, as well as being the name of the road to one side of the prison and the pedestrian route that runs from near the front of the prison into the town centre via a footbridge over the station. The now disused platform 8 at the station, masked from the opposite platform by a high wall, was used for transporting prisoners between 1868 and the First World War.

A bust of prison reformer John Howard is above the main entrance to the prison. The street leading up to the prison from the main road is also named after him.

Current The Dana Prison, Shrewsbury is open as a tourist attraction. Jailhouse Tours runs guided tours, theme events and experiences, educational days, history days, seasonal events, horror tours and School tours. Jailhouse Tours will continue to manage the site until development work begins on the building in 2017.

There has been a prison on the site since 1793, the original building being constructed by Thomas Telford to plans by Shrewsbury architect John Hiram Haycock; the present prison building was constructed in 1877. The prison took female convicts until 1922.

Between 1902 and 1961 the following seven people were executed by hanging within the walls of HMP Shrewsbury for the crime of murder:-

  • Richard Wigley aged 34 yrs on Tuesday, 18 March 1902 (Mary Ellen Bowen [girlfriend])
  • William Griffiths aged 57 yrs on Tuesday, 24 July 1923 (Catherine Hughes [mother])
  • Frank Griffin aged 40 yrs on Thursday, 4 January 1951 (Jane Edge)
  • Harry Huxley aged 43 yrs on Tuesday, 8 July 1952 (Ada Royce [girlfriend])
  • Donald Neil Simon aged 32 years on Thursday, 23 October 1952 (Eunice Simon [estranged wife] & Victor Brades [her lover])
  • Desmond Donald Hooper aged 27 yrs on Tuesday, 26 January 1954 (Betty Smith)
  • George Riley aged 21 yrs on Thursday, 9 February 1961 (Adeline Mary Smith [neighbour])

The names of their victims appear in parentheses. In almost every case the murder victim was female. Executions took place at 8.00 am. All executed prisoners were buried in unmarked graves inside the prison, as was customary. The four executions which took place during the 1950s were all conducted by Albert Pierrepoint and his assistant. The last execution in 1961 was conducted by Harry Allen and his assistant. In February 2014 the Ministry of Justice stated that the remains of ten executed prisoners were exhumed from the prison in 1972, cremated at a local crematorium and the ashes scattered there.

In September 2004, Member of Parliament George Stevenson,called for an enquiry into the amount of suicides which had occurred at Shrewsbury Prison. This came after 3 inmates had hanged themselves at the jail in 2 weeks.

A report in 2005 named Shrewsbury prison as the most overcrowded in England and Wales. In August 2008 a further report stated that the prison had 178 places in use but held 326 inmates - an overcrowding rate of 183%. A report in June 2012 by the Prison Reform Trust awarded Shrewsbury second place in England and Wales for overcrowding, holding 326 prisoners in space designed for 170 men, a figure exceeded only by Kennet in Liverpool at the time. In 1934, the prison had contained the larger number of 204 cells.


Bust of John Howard above the main entrance.

Before closure, Shrewsbury was a Category B/C prison accepting adult males from the local courts in its catchment area. Accommodation at the prison consisted of double occupancy cells in mostly Victorian buildings. The prison offered education and workshops to inmates. A Listener Scheme was also available to prisoners at risk of suicide or self-harm.

In January 2013, it was announced that the prison was scheduled for closure. The last inmates were transferred from Shrewsbury to other prisons on 27 February 2013, ahead of its closure in March.

The Grade II listed former prison building was sold by the Ministry of Justice to developers, the Trevor Osborne Property Group, in 2014, and is expected to be converted into homes and offices. In April 2015, it was revealed proposals included accommodation for around 200 students of the recently created University Centre Shrewsbury. In January 2016 formal planning proposals convert the former prison to flats and student accommodation were submitted.


The visit

The start to the day didn't go as planned with my original explorey partner deciding to stay in bed rather than have a 2 hour car journey to spend the day in prison!!!
I was going anyhow and sent a text to Fragglehunter who, by some huge alarm clock error or something was actually out of bed and about to start weeding his allotment but soon changed his mind, the weeds will have to wait it would seem lol.
We arrived just before opening time of 10.00 and after a quick chat with one of the staff who, and I kid you not was weeding the car park (it was all I could do to hold fraggs back) he made a call on the radio and a young lass opened up for us, took £15 each of us and let us go in.
we had 2 hours before the guided tours started so loads of time on our own was to be had.
Here's a few pics.















Now as you can probably tell I enjoyed it here then we found the Hanging room.
I'm not going to go into rights and wrongs of capital punsihment here but what I will say is that stood alone on the very trap doors that would have opened under the condemned, looking at the very wall that would have been the last sight in this world for these folk it did make me feel very uneasy about the whole thing and it did make question the morality of it, and that took me by surprise to be honest.



Thanks for looking and I hope you liked it as much as I did.

8/10 for me.

if anyone is interested

  • Like 2

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this