Shepton Mallet Prison, 1625 - United Kingdom's oldest operating prison, paranormal activity, Somerset

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added in GBR- Places by lcoutdoor

Shepton Mallet Prison Frithfield Lane Shepton Mallet Somerset BA4 5LU, United Kingdom


+44 1749 681862


HMP Shepton Mallet, sometimes known as Cornhill, is a former prison located in Shepton Mallet, Somerset, England. When it closed in 2013, it was the United Kingdom's oldest operating prison, and had been since the closure of HMP Lancaster Castle in 2011. Before closure Shepton Mallet was a category C lifer prison holding 189 prisoners. The prison building is grade II* listed, while the former gatehouse and perimeter walls are grade II.

The prison was opened before 1625 but was already in poor repair by the end of the First English Civil War in 1646. It was expanded in 1790 but conditions were again criticised in a report of 1822 and further building work was undertaken in the 1820s and 1830s. This included the installation of a treadwheel for those sentenced to hard labour. In 1843 the number of cells was increased by adding a second storey to each wing. The prison was damaged during a fire in 1904. In 1930 the number of inmates had fallen and the prison was closed.

The prison is associated with many tales of paranormal activity, haunted and ghosts. One the "White Lady", supposedly the ghost of a late 18th-century woman who murdered her betrothed during a lovers' tiff. She was sentenced to death at Shepton Mallet. On the evening before her execution, she asked for her wedding dress to be brought to her, and she wore it to bed, but in the morning was found dead: the suggestion is that she had died of a broken heart. Her ghost has been reported in several places, but principally on A Wing. In the 1950s, the Home Office had to investigate the matter as staff refused to work night shifts on the wing.[source]





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