Sunday, January 25, 2009

A bit of background.

Just before we moved into our first home in September 2007 we discovered that our street (Raglan Road) had once been part of a large Victorian prison for infirm convicts built in 1858.

In fact, our small stretch of Raglan Road (9 houses numbered 87 to 103) were once known as Prison Cottages and had housed a variety of prison officers. An original Victorian floor plan of our house (image coming soon) indicated that the house was for subordinate officers working at the female prison. The female section of the prison was built several years after the male section using convict labour ... but more about that to follow.

The prison was taken over by the army in the early 1890s (circa 1892) and renamed Inkerman Barracks after the Battle of Inkerman fought during the Crimean War on 5 November 1854. The prison was converted to house two battalions of infantry. The first infantry battalion to be quartered there in 1895 was 2nd Battalion The Royal West Surrey Regiment (The Queen's). In September 1947 the Royal Military Police moved to Inkerman Barracks, establishing Inkerman as the home of the Corps. http://www3.hants.gov.uk/museum/aldershot-museum/local-history-aldershot/barracks/inkerman-barracks.htm

Sadly, as the years passed, people began to forget about the prison. Particularly when the barracks themselves were demolished to make way for housing developments. This I find really depressing, especially when you consider how stunning the building once was. The old Lunatic Asylum, built around the same time (now converted into luxury apartments) is still intact.

Lots of locals know that this was once the site of Inkerman Barracks, but have no idea that it was also location to one of the most progressive prisons in Victorian England. In writing this blog I hope to create a better picture of the prison; it's buildings, it's inmates, it's employees, it's location and more ... lest they be forgotten forever.

2 comments:

  1. Hi,
    I'm also interested in the old invalid prison, do you know if any archives (outside the national archives) have survived?
    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi,
    I'm also interested in the old invalid prison, do you know if any archives (outside the national archives) have survived?
    Thanks

    ReplyDelete