Monday, January 26, 2009

The Building of Woking Invalid Convict Prison

Accounts of Expenditure in the building of Woking Invalid Convict Prison between 1856 and 1868. Found on a recent visit to the National Archives in Kew.

The bundle of documents came in a large cardbox box which had the musty, dusty, sooty smell as though it had been hidden up a chimney for the past 150 years!

After carefully removing the ribbon we discovered a number of documents: annual accounts of expenditure submitted to the Surveyor General of Prisons by a Mr George Myers between 1856 and 1868. (The paper had once been pale blue but had mostly faded to grey).

The first one, dated 1st April 1857, was for the construction of Woking Invalid Prison. A variety of works continued all the way into the mid 1860s with work on the female prison taking place around 1865 to 1867. The last entry in this particular batch of documents is for the enlargement of 2 houses between 1967 and 1868.

As it turns out, George Myers (1803–1875) was a renowned Victorian builder and craftsman. See next blog post.

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