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You are in: Lincolnshire » A Sense Of Place » Places

Thursday 21st July, 2005
Lincoln Castle to open historic prison
Prison entrance.

Lincoln Castle's historic prison has opened its doors to the public giving visitors the chance to experience first hand the Victorian penal system.

When Queen Victoria came to the throne crime and civil unrest was rife across the country. Dispossessed tenant farmers turned to poaching and crop stealing to feed their families and petty crime was rampant. Harsh sentences were imposed for anyone convicted of crimes.

Lincoln prison introduced the American 'separate system' leaving prisoners in total isolation, only allowing them to speak to prison officials or the prison chaplain.

Inmates had cold running water and sanitation in their cells but conditions were harsh. Male prisoners wore masks so they could not recognise fellow inmates and women prisoners were veiled.

The restoration of the prison will now give visitors a chance to look inside the condemned cell, where those facing the rope would spend their final hours. Visitors can also go through the women's wing of the prison and experience life as a prisoner. The lives of the matron, surgeon and prison chaplain will also be revealed.

Find out more about Lincoln Castle Prison by visiting the Lincoln Castle website* >>

*The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites

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