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?