Time’s up for Britain’s oldest prison

Time’s up for Britain’s oldest prison

These are the first pictures inside Britain’s oldest prison which was used for 25 executions – but could now be turned into a retirement village.

Shepton Mallet prison in Somerset has housed thousands of inmates since it opened in 1610 and was home to 189 when it closed in March 2013.

SWNS_EXECUTION_PRISON_36It has hosted the Kray twins and has seen seven judicial executions and 18 American servicemen were either hanged or shot by firing squad.

The Category C prison – officially known as HMP Cornhill – was sold to a developer as part of a government closure programme to save £63million a year.

Construction firm City and Country is now holding a public consultation on the future of the site.

It is working on plans for a ‘mixed use scheme’ to include residential development, retirement accommodation and social amenity areas.

Now the doors have been thrown open, revealing the eerily-deserted corridors and empty rooms where prisoners on death row once awaited their fate.

SWNS_EXECUTION_PRISON_41Bullet holes from the executions can still be seen in the walls of the exercise yard.

When the prison closed, Governor Andy Rogers said: “I am obviously saddened because a lot of staff have a history of working on the site and it has been part of the community since 1610.

“But I understand that things move on. There are better places for offenders to be relocated that are more economic.”