Shrewsbury Prison, Year 9 visit

As part of the Enrichment Day activities on Thursday 22nd February, Year 9 visited Shrewsbury Prison, no longer a functioning prison but now a tourist attraction.  Rajan writes:

Shrewsbury prison was originally opened by Thomas Telford in 1793, and the present prison building was built in 1877. They originally took prisoners of both genders but it became male only in 1922. The prison was home to many executions, many of which used to be carried out in public. The last public execution was John Mapp in 1868 and the last execution was that of George Riley in 1961. The prison was decommissioned in 2013.

Our visit was split into two parts:

Before lunch, we were given a tour of the prison. We were shown around the many wings and cells, where we were shown how the treatment of prisoners evolved over time, and groups of five of us were locked into cells together. My favourite part of the tour was the execution room. We learned about the history of the many hangings that took place in that very room. A fascinating fact I learned was that in order for the perfect hanging, the rope must typically be 3ft long, but the exact length was determined by the weight of the prisoner. Any longer and the head would rip off, and if it was shorter, the condemned would strangle to death.

After lunch we were given a challenge. We had a booklet full of questions and a map. We had to use the map to navigate around the prison and find the answers to these questions. Most teams managed to find the answers to almost every question.

I really enjoyed the trip; it was both fun and interesting and I learned a lot.

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