Wednesday, 16 September 2009

The Prison Cells in Devonport Guildhall

On Monday, my colleague and I visited Devonport Guildhall to meet up with some staff members to talk about the touring exhibition. We needed to find a space to put the panels in, and so we were slowly taken around all the free spaces in the old grandiose building.

In the last part of the building were what the contractors called 'the cells'. To begin with, I had in mind little cubby-holes or a small space which they had called 'cells' as a modern term. However, I was quite mistaken - they really did mean cells! I managed to take a photograph of one of the doors (left) of the room (below). This space had such a dramatic atmosphere and seemed to be such a find, that I thought I'd share it with you all. I don't think many people know about these cells.

Just out of interest, Devonport has the only working gallows in the country.


  1. Whoah, spooky and facinating stuff. When you say working gallows do you mean they can be used?

  2. Yes I do mean that, they can be used if necessary. However, we don't kill people for crimes anymore in this country, so they haven't been used in years.

  3. Love the picture of the cell door. It reminds me of my time working at Crownhill Fort (they too have a cell). In the guard room they have some wooden beds and on the under-side of one of these is an inscription in memory of a man "James Corbett" a soldier hanged in Dover in 1908 (probably a military hanging). It was carved by a comrade of his. I always found it moving.

  4. Oh yes and keep up this excellent blog Jess! Feel free to take a look at my "Palpable Devotion" site if you want to hear about Victorian life from Esme Bliss. Or if you want a laugh from the Boy's Own Paper, I have a site called "Leave the Dog Alone". (Sorry for this blatant advertisement...the internet is an enormous place but I can feel lonely on these sites.