HM Prison Shrewsbury was a Category B/C men’s prison in Shrewsbury, Shropshire. It closed in March 2013.
The former prison site, on Howard Street, adjacent to Shrewsbury railway station, is near the site of the Dana Gaol, a medieval prison. The name The Dana is still often used for the prison, as well as being the name of the road to one side of the prison and the pedestrian route that runs from near the front of the prison into the town centre via a footbridge over the station. The now disused platform 8 at the station, masked from the opposite platform by a high wall, was used for transporting prisoners between 1868 and the First World War.
Between 1902 and 1961 seven people were executed, by hanging, within the walls of HMP Shrewsbury for the crime of murder.
Richard Wigley aged 34 yrs on Tuesday, 18 March 1902 (Mary Ellen Bowen [girlfriend])
William Griffiths aged 57 yrs on Tuesday, 24 July 1923 (Catherine Hughes [mother])
Frank Griffin aged 40 yrs on Thursday, 4 January 1951 (Jane Edge)
Harry Huxley aged 43 yrs on Tuesday, 8 July 1952 (Ada Royce [girlfriend])
Donald Neil Simon aged 32 years on Thursday, 23 October 1952 (Eunice Simon [estranged wife] & Victor Brades [her lover]
Desmond Donald Hooper aged 27 yrs on Tuesday, 26 January 1954 (Betty Smith)
George Riley aged 21 yrs on Thursday, 9 February 1961 (Adeline Mary Smith [neighbour])
The names of their victims appear in parentheses. In almost every case the murder victim was female. Executions took place at 08.00 am. All executed prisoners were buried in unmarked graves inside the prison, as was customary. The four executions which took place during the 1950s were all conducted by Albert Pierrepoint and his assistant. The last execution in 1961 was conducted by Harry Allen and his assistant. In February 2014 the Ministry of Justice stated that the remains of ten executed prisoners were exhumed from the prison in 1972, cremated at a local crematorium and the ashes scattered there.
Shrewsbury Prison is now open to tours:
The development comes after the Shrewsbury Prison’s owner, Trevor Osborne, struck a deal with Jailhouse Tours to operate the Castlefields site from the start of next month. Joel Campbell, owner of Jailhouse Tours, said he was delighted with the deal and would be looking forward to starting work.
Mr Campbell said people would be able to take part in a variety of different events at the prison, with 90 minute tours planned as the “bread and butter” of the operation.
He said: “It will be a tour where people go through the journey a prisoner would go through, from the gates at the entrance, through to the rooms where the searches would take place, through to the cells.
“People will get to see all the different wings, get to understand more about the history, from its beginnings right up to the present day, and how that has changed.
“They will get to see all the stuff people like to see, the segregation units, the suicide watch, showers, the hanging rooms.”