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Inveraray Jail Blog

The fall and rise of Inveraray Jail

Inveraray Jail opened to the public exactly 25 years ago this month. And in that quarter century it has become one of Scotland’s leading tourist attractions, offering a unique insight into crime and punishment in 19th-century Scotland. But how did the prison, which ceased to operate in 1889, survive intact for so...

Posted on 26 May 2014

The Guv”nors

When we think of a prison today we think of a large institution operating as part of a national prison service, funded by central Government and staffed by a range of well-trained professionals. Things were very different in the 19th century. Can you imagine that for much of its existence Inveraray Jail would have been...

Posted on 25 Apr 2014

The problem with prisoners

When it comes to crime and punishment some things never change. Most criminals who are sent to prison accept their punishment and serve their time with a view to getting released at the earliest opportunity. Then there are the troublemakers. As it is today, so it was in the 19th century, and the records at Inveraray...

Posted on 21 Mar 2014

The jail’s lunatics

Life in the Old Prison wasn’t easy and the poor souls who ended up here faced many hardships. The cells were cold, damp and dark. There was no attempt to separate men, women and children. They were all crowded into the cells together: murderers alongside drunken brawlers, hardened criminals alongside first...

Posted on 16 Feb 2014

The Prison Records – a journey back in time

One of the best things about visiting Inveraray Jail is the chance to meet the prisoners and talk to them about life in jail. You can ask them what they were convicted of, how long their sentence is, where they come from, how old they are and how life’s treating them behind bars. Of course these inmates are actors,...

Posted on 20 Jan 2014

The New Year Trials

The nation”s getting ready to celebrate Hogmanay. Here in Scotland, Hogmanay is a big event. Across the country, people see in the New Year in style. But there was no partying for the prisoners of Inveraray Jail. They would spend New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day alone in their cells working –...

Posted on 10 Dec 2013

All present and correct

The festive season is just around the corner and shoppers across the country are on the hunt for perfect presents for friends and family. Have you thought about checking out the Inveraray Jail shop this Christmas? You’ll find a sackful of great gifts for all ages. To give you a taste of what’s on offer, we...

Posted on 27 Nov 2013

Health and wellbeing in Inveraray Jail

Damp, stuffy and overcrowded, Inveraray’s Old Prison was not the healthiest of environments. When it opened in 1820 there was no heating (imagine that on wintry Argyll night!), no washroom and no proper sanitation as we would understand it. Because standards of hygiene were so poor, outbreaks of disease were...

Posted on 24 Oct 2013

All dressed up

In the early days of Inveraray Jail prisoners wore their own clothes. So if you turned up without any shoes, well that’s the way you stayed. But the Prison Reform Act of 1839 stated that on arrival convicts should be issued with a set of prison clothes, and from then on prisoners wore a uniform – a moleskin...

Posted on 27 Sep 2013

Explore Inveraray

Inveraray is a bustling little town with an old-world charm and loads of things to see and do. It’s a classic example of an eighteenth-century planned town with a truly memorable setting. So after you’ve spent a few hours enjoying Inveraray Jail and all it has to offer, why not explore Inveraray? You’ll...

Posted on 21 Aug 2013

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