Friday, December 3, 2010

Prison Burials

I was recently asked where the deceased prisoners were buried. In short I don't know. However, a number of prisoners were buried in Brookwood Cemetery.

In particular a Fenian - by the name of John Lynch - died at Woking Invalid Prison on June 2nd 1866, aged 34, and was buried in a pauper's plot in Brookwood Cemetery.

Close to Woking Invalid Prison was a mental asylum for pauper lunatics whose deceased patients were also buried at Brookwood Cemetery.

Click here for more details on Brookwood Cemetery or go to:

Woking News and Mail Halloween Article 2010

More ghostly goings on. Click to enlarge ...

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Ghosts of prisons past

Article (Why Inkerman site prompts tales of ghosts) courtesy of Brian Quaintmere.

Woking News & Mail 23/02/95

The prison demolition ...

I received some terrific images from Brian Quaintmere who grew up living at the Barracks for the majority of his childhood.

Brian witnessed the demolition of the barracks and has distinct memories of seeing some of the old cells within the prison during the demolition. He also reports that below the old parade ground was a large underground brick built reservoir that supplied water for the barracks (formally Woking Convict Invalid Prison). Brian's father and his colleagues would occasionally go down into this to inspect it using a small rowing boat that was permanently moored underground for the purpose. Rumours were at the time of demolition and redevelopment that this reservoir could not be filled in and may therefore possibly remain underground to this day.

Brian also recalls various ghost and haunting stories about the barracks and one of the houses was purportedly haunted by a man in a black cloak and/or frock coat and hat.

In addition, Brian has kindly supplied a series of photographs and colour slides taken by his father during the early sixties at the barracks (formally Woking Convict Invalid Prison). A couple of them even show what was once the female prison ...

I believe the building you see in the distance (see above) - beyond the male-prison gate - is part of the old female prison ...

Brian has some vague recollections about this photo (see above). He seems to recall that Surrey Fire Brigade took the opportunity to use the derelict buildings to test their new turntable fire engine. You can see the rear of some of larger houses right at the end of Raglan Road, which were Officers houses. You can also see on the left a pile of reclaimed bricks. Most of the barracks was built of sandstone bricks, which were quite expensive and all salvaged, recycled and re-used elsewhere...

This is a demolition photo taken from the rear upstairs window of 51 Raglan Road by Brian's father...

Circa 1960 view from Inkerman Barracks clock tower looking towards Brookwood Hospital water tower-note junction of Victoria Rd and Raglan Rd.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Detailed map of the prison

Here is a detailed map of the Prison which appears to show the positions of the entrances, the general layout of the external walls and things such as gardens and boundaries. Click image to enlarge.

Courtesy of Tony Leary.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Beastly Matrons - a Prayer

More images of the Female Prison

Prisoner in a padded cell at Woking Prison

At the chapel

Prison Classes

In Woking Convict Invalid Prison, there were 5 classes of female prisoner, each wearing a different costume.

Probation class = first nine months of prison life
Third-class = second nine month period of prison life
Second-class = third nine month period of prison life
First-class = fourth nine month period of prison life
Special class = within nine months of expiration of sentence

From what I can gather, the uniforms (or costumes) were as follows:

Probation class = lilac cotton skirt with blouse bodice, a chequered blue and white apron, cap and bonnet and square of brown serge for the shoulders. This was replaced by a thick blue serge dress in winter.

Third class = plain blue skirt in summer, this being replaced by a brown serge dress in winter.

Second class (and first class) = a spotted skirt in summer, replaced with a thick green serge gown in winter.

Special class = "princess" robe of dark grey striped flannel.

Images of the Prison 1889

Saluting the Matron

Female prisoners at the fire pump

Female prisoners at the exercise yard

Images of the Female Convict Prison, drawn by Paul Renouard for a newspaper feature that appeared in The Graphic on Saturday August 31st 1889.

Our little house on Raglan Road

We already know that our house was inhabited by Subordinate Officers.

Here, a newspaper article / feature on Woking Convict Invalid Prison written in 1889 refers to our house as 'humbler quarters' ...

Hmm. We prefer to think of it as 'cosy and cute'.

Mme "make me beautiful for ever" Rachel

In the legal section of The Graphic dated Saturday October 23rd 1880, the following was reported:

Mme Rachel, the person who became notorious a few years ago as claiming the power to make people "beautiful for ever" and who, after suffering seven years penal servitude for fraud, was convicted a second time in 1878, died in Woking Prison last week from dropsy. An inquest was heard and the jury returned a verdict of "Died by the Visitation of God".

Mme Rachel (aka Sarah Rachel Leverson or Levison and Sarah Russell) was a British criminal and con artist in Victorian-era London during the late 19th century. Operating a prominent beauty salon, from which she personally guaranteed her clientele everlasting youth (using grandiose sounding concoctions comprising everyday ingredients such as bran and water) she would blackmail many wives of London's upper class ...

More can be found on Mme Rachel here:

Or at

An interesting article on Female Convict Prisons, including Woking can be found here at the British Library Newspaper Archives.

Murderous Reverend held at Woking Convict Prison 1872

According to Wikepedia, the Reverend John Selby Watson (1804 – 6 July 1884) was a British classical translator and murderer. He was sentenced to death in 1872 for killing his wife, but a public outcry led to his sentence being reduced to life imprisonment.


Born in 1804 Watson was educated by an uncle and graduated from Trinity College, Dublin in 1838. He was ordained Deacon to the Bishop of Ely in 1839 and married Anne Armstrong in January 1845 at St Marks, Dublin. Due to his poverty Watson had been engaged to Anne for quite a number of years before they could marry. He moved to London in 1844 where he became the headmaster of School. Because of falling pupil numbers he was laid off in 1870. But during his long career as headmaster, Watson had made a reputation for himself as a scholar and translator, publishing translations of the classics for Bohm's Classical Library that subsequently became volumes in the popular Everyman's Library series. He also wrote biographies, religious books, and a volume Reasoning Power in Animals. Still with all his learning and activities he made a very small income. When the Board of the Stockwell School fired him, they refused to give him any pension.


A few weeks after finishing his four-volume History of the Papacy to the Reformation, on 8 October 1871 Watson was found unconscious by his servant, Ellen Pyne, having taken prussic acid. Two notes were found: one addressed to Pyne contained her wages. The other was to his doctor. It said "I have killed my wife in a fit of rage to which she provoked me". His wife's body was found in a bedroom, having been battered to death with the butt of his pistol two days earlier.

Watson recovered and stood trial at the Old Bailey in January 1872. Despite a history of arguing with his wife, Watson did not argue provocation. Instead, he pleaded insanity, as his counsel put it: "an antecedent improbability in the deed which would lead everyone in the first instance to seek an explanation in insanity." The judge, Mr Justics Byles, opposed this excuse strongly in his summing-up. After deliberating for an hour and a half, the jury found him guilty of murder but with a recommendation that mercy be shown because of his age and previous character. Byles however sentenced him to death.

After the trial many affidavits from doctors were presented testifying to Watson's insanity at the time of the murder. Byles then changed his mind and told the Home Secretary that the medical evidence presented at the trial suggested that "this is not a case in which the sentence should be carried out." After more investigation the Home Office decided that some "imprecise mental unsoundness" had been present and commuted the sentence to life imprisonment. Due to no obvious signs of madness, however, he was not sent to Broadmoor Hospital; instead he served his time in Parkhurst prison where he died twelve years later, aged 80, on 6th July 1884. His death was due to falling out of his hammock at the prison. (I would dispute the idea that he served all his time at Parhurst given the article featured above). In the words of Martin J. Wiener, "the incongruity of the offence and the lack of any lesser defence pushed the system to a controversial finding of "temporary" insanity to prevent the unedifying spectacle of the hanging of a clergyman of the Church of England. In a sense, in Watson's case, provocation (by his wife, under the stress of his forced retirement) had been reconceived as temporary insanity."

Attempted Murder of Woking Prison Governor

In the Penny Illustrated Paper dated Saturday December 18th 1869, an article reports that an attempt was made to take the life of Captain Bramley, Governor at Woking Prison. It states: As the convicts were filing out of chapel after Divine service, one of the prisoners ... rushed upon the Governor ... and stabbed him twice in the breast and once in the loin. BLIMEY!

Newspaper article courtesy of British Library

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Latest pics of Woking Convict Invalid Prison

The following three images are taken from postcards dated 1904 and 1906, long after the prison had been converted into Barracks.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A prison in decline?

I just Googled 'Knaphill Prison' and came across this interesting record which suggests that the prison was almost entirely unoccupied by 1888. Huh, I wonder why? I also like how they use the term Convalescent Prison. I'm not quite sure the prisoners would have agreed scrubbing frozen bricks in the bleak mid winter.

HC Deb [sic] 16 November 1888 vol 330 c1384 1384

MR. HANKEY (Surrey, Chertsey) asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether his attention has been directed to the present condition of the prison at Knaphill, Woking, which is now almost entirely unoccupied; and, whether, in view of the great want of suitable barrack accommodation at present existing throughout the country, he will at once take such steps as will enable him to convert the prison into barracks, or utilize it for the military service of the country?

THE SECRETARY OF STATE (Mr. E. STANHOPE) (Lincolnshire, Horncastle) Communications have been entered into with the Home Office with a view of obtaining for military purposes the buildings and lands of the Woking Convalescent Convict Prison; but no decision has yet been arrived at. The position of these buildings, within easy reach of Aldershot, makes it most desirable to obtain them.

Swindling the old lady of Threadneedle Street.

I just stumbled across another interesting crime story involving some Americans incarcerated at Woking Convict Invalid Prison. In 1873, the Bidwell brothers robbed the Bank of England of a whopping £500,000.

So how did they pull off such an audatious heist?

In short, they discovered that the Bank of England allowed people to draw against bills of acceptance (cheques??) from large institutions without checking to see if they were genuine. They set up an account for 'Horton and Co', impressed the bank manager 'most favourably', then waved some genuine bills under his nose (to establish their credit) before commencing the forgeries which netted them half a million pounds cash!

Easy peazy lemon squeezy.

The following article was published in the New York Times in 1892. It tells the story of how the Bidwell brothers' sister fought tirelessly for their release and gives some interesting insight into the Victorian prison system. Read the Bidwell brothers article here

Ghosties and ghoulies

Okay, so my boyfriend will kill me for this, but what the heck. He was in the garden the other day when he glanced up at the spare room window (this is the bedroom in which I had my hello ghost experience) and saw a person moving away from the window.

Later in the day he started backtracking and saying things like: It could have been the shadow of a bird flying past or one of the cats sitting on the window sill ...

Yea right ;-)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Prison to Barracks transformation - 1893

Click images to enlarge

On September 12th 1893, a series of works took place to convert the prison into barracks. On our latest visit to The National Archives, we found some Record Plans and Drawings which show some of the renovations that took place.

The first plan (above) includes the following details:

Woking Inkerman Barracks Recreation Establishment Record Plan
Formally the RC Chapel - Male Convict Prison. Reconstructed and added to under the Barracks Act 1890.
Work commenced 12th September 1893
Work 19th October 1894
Actual cost £8,677.0.0.
Constructor Mr A A Gale of Woking
Accommodation for 1 Battalion (720 R&F)

Other plans show that the Barracks included:

  • Canteen
  • Skittle Alley
  • Library
  • Coffee Shop
  • Stables
  • Wagon Sheds
  • Coal Yard (to hold 100 tonnes)
  • Latrines
  • Grocery Store
  • Reading Room
  • Fives Courts

Newspaper Detectives

According to the NEWSPAPER DETECTIVES, a newspaper archaeological site for local research purposes, an article appeared in a local newspaper on 24th March 1866 regarding the sudden death of a convict presumably on his way to Woking Invalid Convict Prison. The convict died at Woking Railway Station and Dr John Campbell, Medical Officer, was somehow involved, possibly with the inquest??

A few days earlier on the 17th March, the same newspaper records a Fatal Accident To A Convict. Was it the same convict? Did he fall under a train I wonder?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Charles J Kickham - Famous Prisoner, Author and Fenian Leader

Author and Fenian leader. Charles J. Kickham was born on 9 May 1828, at Mullinahone in Co. Tipperary.

Kickham joined the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) or the Fenians, in 1860. He was a committed separatist. During his career as an activist, he contributed controversial political articles to a nationalist paper, the Irish People.

On 15 September 1865 the Dublin Police took possession of the Irish People headquarters at 12 Parliament Street and seized the entire contents of the office. The few members of the staff still on the premises were arrested and others were picked up on the street or in their homes.

Irish People documents revealed Kickham’s role in the Fenian conspiracy. On 11 November 1865 he was arrested. Nearly blind and almost completely deaf, Kickham was charged for writing ‘treasonous’ articles and for committing high treason. He was tried before Judge William Keogh and sentenced to fourteen years penal servitude.

He was sent to Mountjoy prison. On 10 February 1865 he was transferred to Pentonville Prison near London. During this time his health deteriorated because of poor prison diet. On 14 May 1866 he was transferred to Portland Prison and later to the invalid prison at Woking in Surrey, where he spent the remainder of his term. He was released in 1869 with his health severely impaired and returned to Mullinahone, Co. Tipperary.

More on Charles J Kickham

Does My Bum Look Big In This?

In the New York Times on September 9th 1894, the following article appeared. It focused on the vanity of female prisoners, including those at Woking Convict Invalid Prison.

See full article here.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

A bleak mid-victorian prison??

I have no doubt that life was harsh at Woking Invalid Convict Prison. Yet, there are various descriptions of the surrounding countryside which make the place seem almost idyllic:

Florence Maybrick wrote:

... we drove through lovely woods; the scent of flowers was wafted by the breeze into what seemed to be a hearse that was bearing me on toward my living tomb [the prison]...

And a prison medical officer wrote the following description in late 1859 or early 1860:

The prison at Knapp Hill was built on the most approved plan, both as regards ventilation and sanitation, and also its general arrangements, but it was difficult to imagine that it was within thirty-six miles of London, for it was situated on a large moor covered with heath and a few stunted pines, about a mile and a half from Woking Cemetery, in an unused part of which I used to exercise a young setter. Snakes abounded, and frogs kept us awake at night by their croaking. A few blackcock still remained, and numbers of shaggy forest ponies were to be seen roaming about.

Sounds wonderful, don't you think?

Prison Gate

My boyfriend tells me that he much prefers discovering things about the prison building than prison life. So here's a picture of the gate to Woking Invalid Convict Prison just for him. Of course, this picture was taken after it became Inkerman Barracks. But it's the same gate that the prisoners would have been taken through, and the same bell tower they would have looked at every day while trudging round the exercise yard ...

And, in fact, I suspect the picture was taken just yards from our front door. The road the photographer is standing in looks suspiciously like ours with some grass to the left and what looks like a wall to the right. Woo hoo.

Prison Laundry

Laundry Workers at Woking Invalid Convict Prison

Woking Invalid Convict Prison was run by the prisoners in that it was they who were put to work cooking, cleaning, gardening, mending and of course washing.

In Philip Priestly's Victorian Prison Lives, the laundry is described as the least pleasant of all the jobs. It involved lots of physical labour: washing, scrubbing, wringing, sorting and folding thousands of clothes, flannels and sheets every week. These would have included articles from the infirmary, which had come into contact with 'all manner of skin diseases and other disgusting afflictions'.

In Florence Maybrick's book describing her time at Woking Invald Convict Prison we discover that:

Each cell was provided with a nail on which, during the day, the prisoner could hang a wet towel, and, during the night, her clothes. Those who worked in the laundry came in with wet clothing every evening, which, as no change is allowed, must be either dried at night or put on wet the next morning.

It must have been unbearably cold in the winter to put damp clothes on every morning. Brrrr.

I found a great little source of information on women in prison which includes this extract from a book called Prison Characters Drawn from Life by a Prison Matron. The book, which was written in 1866, has this to say about the laundry:

The women are disputatious......and the soap question is always in the ascendant in the 'washing house'. The prisoners are always on the watch for stray pieces of soap - which is handy for smoothing the hair, for instance - and quick is the eye to detect an error in a contemporary who, in her absence of mind, places her soap by her tub-side instead of in her pocket, and quick are the fingers to confiscate it accordingly. Quarrels about soap are constantly recurring in the laundry; there is no honour among soap thieves; women will rob their dearest pals of the two or three o'clock soaps, and maintain 'til the last, and with all the power at their command, their innocence of defalcation.

Prison Houses

There are three rows of houses (as marked on the 1871 Ordnance Survey map above) that used to cater for the prison staff. I believe they were built at different stages of Woking Invalid Convict Prison's development.

The first stretch (marked in red) is our little stretch of Raglan Road.

The second row of houses (marked in blue) is also Raglan Road. These houses look similar to ours but they are larger and have entrances front and back. There used to be a row of these houses on both sides of the road. Now only the one side remains. The black and white image clearly shows houses on both sides of the road. It looks like such a grand road.

The third row of houses (marked in green) is furthest away from the prison and can be found on Victoria Road. These are really pretty little cottages, but look different from those on Raglan Road. If I'm honest, I don't know if these are original or if they've been rebuilt, but they certainly appear on the old map.

Two surprising discoveries

The first surprise is that our two bedroom house was originally a three bedroom house.

We had always assumed the bathroom and kitchen, both at the back of the house, were added later. But they weren't. They were part of the original house. Obviously the third bedroom is now the bathroom.

So, if there was a third bedroom upstairs, there must have been something below it. But what?

We know there used to be a pantry, a coal cellar and a toilet in that space. But we thought these were open to the elements. Obviously not!

(It would appear from the plans that you had to walk through the central bedroom to get to the master bedroom!!)

The second discovery is that our little stretch of Raglan Road used to have ten houses and now only has nine. One fell off. What a shame.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Malingerers and 'The Battery'

I stumbled across this vivid and amusing account of the dreaded battery. It was written by a young medical officer visiting Woking Invalid Convict Prison:

Although it occurred some months after I had left the service, and while I was on a visit to my cousin ... who succeeded me in the office of Assistant Surgeon, the following incident may be worth recording. By the kind permission of the Governor I was allowed to accompany my cousin round the wards, and was asked to see a man who was said to have paralysis of both legs. I thought with the others he was malingering, and the usual remedies having failed, it was decided to use galvanism.

The batteries were out of order, but by uniting two, we got a fairly good current. While arranging the batteries, it was mentioned audibly that a mild current would be used at first and the strength increased daily.

The batteries were places on a table on one side of the bed and Mr. E. S. Blaker, standing on the other, applied one pole to the hip, and asked me to apply the other to the foot. Never was a more miraculous cure. The man jumped up, said : "I'm damned if I can stand this," and rushed across the ward, dragging the batteries off the table, upsetting the sulphuric acid, and destroying two sets of bedding and the floor for several feet.

Notorious or not? John Campbell, Staff Surgeon at Woking Invalid Convict Prison

John Campbell spent thirty years as a medical officer in the English Convict Service. Many of those years were spent on the prison hulks (see image above), travelling between the UK and Australia.

Later on in his life, he worked at Woking Invalid Convict Prison. Reports vary on what type of character John Campbell was. I imagine it would have been very hard to remain sympathetic to prisoners after 30 years in the industry!!

The Australian Autobiographical Narratives suggests he was a humanitarian 'advocating humanity but not mistaken sympathy ...' In addition, 'Campbell recommends order, cleanliness and regularity as a basis for prison discipline.'

However, in a book entitled Victorian Prison Lives by Philip Priestley we discover a less humanitarian attitude towards the prisoners:

On a more personal level, says Dr Campbell, 'it was my invariable practice, in prescribing for the patients, to treat them with as much consideration as if they had been delicate ladies - at the same time enjoining a kindly treatment on the part of the attendants.'

One of the patients on the receiving end of this 'consideration', during the Campbell reign at Woking hospital prison, was George Bidwell: 'the doctor wound up the interview with the clincher, in his high squeaking tones: "Well, my man, you know you were sent here to die, so you must not make any trouble, for there is nothing I can do for you."

This was his stereotyped reply, no matter what the case of the nature of the disease, which had usually been aggravated or brought on by the hard work with insufficient food.' His summary of the doctor's long career is in similar vein. 'Dr Campbell,' he writes, 'resigned from the service and retired to private life with a pension and the inexpressible hatred and contempt of all prisoners who ever had the misfortune to come under his treatment.'

Like many prison doctors of the age, Campbell regularly used the battery on convicts, stating that galvanism was not brought into play until all other remedies had failed:

Patients suffering from the real disease gladly submit to this or any other remedy likely to benefit them; but malingerers show a great deal of reugnance to it.' Victorian Prison Lives

Towards the end of his career, John Campbell wrote a book entitled: THIRTY YEARS' SERVICE OF A MEDICAL OFFICER IN THE ENGLISH CONVICT SERVICE (first published in 1884). The book describes Campbell's own experiences and views on the treatment of prisoners. He also makes suggestions for the future. Chapters include The Convict Ship; Dartmoor Convict Prison; Woolwich, the Convict Hulks; Woking Invalid Prison; Lunatic and Imbecile Convicts, etc.

Woking Invalid Convict Prison - Quarterly Returns

Every prisoner that came to Woking Invalid Convict Prison was registered in the Prison Register where the following details were taken:
  • Prison Register Number
  • Name
  • Age
  • Crime
  • Place of Conviction
  • Date of Conviction
  • Sentence in Years
  • Health
  • Behaviour
Every quarter, these Prison Registers were sent off somewhere (not sure where) where they were collated with Prison Registers from all the other prisons. These were known as Quarterly Returns and were compiled together alphabetically in big fat leather bound books called Convict Prisons Attested Lists.

The first image below shows one of these Attested Lists. It's difficult to see from this image because it's in poor condition, but it has a really pretty, colourful floral pattern on the cover.

The second image shows one of the pages from Woking's Prison Register. As you can see, each Prison Register was signed and dated at the end of each quarter by the head warden and prison doctor.

I love browsing through these Quarterly Returns whenever I go to the National Archives. It's amazing what those naughty Victorians got up to. The following is a cross section of some of the entries in the prison register for Woking Invalid Convict Prison in 1871:

2438 ... William Aylsby .. age 63 ... Buggery ... convicted in York ... 8/12/64 ... 20 years ... Infirm ... V good behaviour

2265 ... Robert Wight ... age 56 ... Forging Power of Attorney ... convicted in Gloucester ... 6/8/64 ... 10 years ... Infirm

3034 ... John Cornish ... age 70 ... Stealing a lamb ... convicted in Exeter ... 8/5/66 ... 7 years ... Rather delicate

3179 ... Joseph Rowley ... age 25 ... Bestiality ... convicted in Shrewsbury ... 17/3/64 ... 10 years ... Rather delicate

3774 ... John W Teasdale ... age ?? ... Carnally knowing a child ... convicted in Newcastle ... 14/7/68 ... 10 years ... Rather delicate (Notice how a paedophile gets ten years less than someone committing a homosexual act. I'm guessing that the 'abominable crime' mentioned later is also homosexuality.)

4226 ... James Kavannagh ... age 30 ... Coming to the knowledge of an intended mutiny in the army in aid of the Fenian conspiracy and not giving notice to his commanding officer ... convicted in Dublin ... 26/1/67 ... 7 years ... rather delicate ... v. good behaviour

4260 ... Thomas Campbell ... age 38 ... An abominable crime ... convicted in York ... 29/1/69 ... 20 years ... rather delicate ... good behaviour (Blimey, he couldn't even bring himself to say the word)

4299 ... Charles Harris ... age 17 ... Striking a superior officer ... convicted in Bermista (Bermuda?) ... 3/5/70 ... 5 years ... (Hot headed 17 year olds ... nothing's changed there then!)

4356 ... Hector Gillies ... age 41 ... Inciting a person to cast away a certain Brit ship on the high seas ... convicted in C C Ct ... 19/9/70 ... 5 years ... rather delicate (Piracy? Or sabotage?)

4458 ... James Fowkes ... age 52 ... Using instrument to procure (word abortion crossed out and replaced with:) miscarriage ... convicted in Warwick ... 8/7/69 ... 10 years ... Rather delicate ... V good behaviour

Another one that stands out in my memory is a Samual Wadsworth aged 53 from Leeds who put a stone on a railway track with the intent to obstruct a train.

The Female Prison Chapel - Plans and Sketches

It's important to point out that the female and male prisons were quite separate. The image below shows where the female prison (marked F) was situated in relation to the male prison (marked M). The two prisons were built several years apart.

A recent visit to the National Archives threw up some floor plans and sketches of the female prison chapel which provide us with a clear idea of what it might have looked like. On the floor plan below you will notice that the one chapel is actually two chapels (Roman Catholic and Protestant) sitting side by side under the same roof.

The next plan shows the West and East elevations, showing the two distinct designs for Protestant and Catholic.

The final plan shows how I think the Chapel will have looked from behind. I assume there were two separate entrances for the prisoners and one central entrance for the clergy ...

Remember, all prisoners were attend chapel every morning, regardless of their faith.
It's also worth pointing out that the female chapel was a stand alone building whereas the male chapel, we believe, was attached to the prison itself. You may have noticed references to 'detention barracks' or 'Inkerman' on the plans. This is because the army will have used the original Victorian plans to adapt the prison into barracks in the late 19th century. What else becomes clear from the sketches is that the overall look of the female prison differed greatly from the ominous foreboding look of the male prison.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Woking Prison - a different view

This is Woking Invalid Convict Men's Prison from behind and we think the bit that juts out is the chapel. So pretty.