19th Century

Prison Search

How many prisons were there in 19th century England? How big were they? Where were they located? Where can I find out more about them?

Use the search below to find detailed records on nearly 850 penal institutions operational between 1800 and 1899 including their locations, size, descriptions in the historical sources and surviving archives.

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Based in the Centre for the History of Crime, Policing and Justice at The Open University, Prison History aims to reconstruct the 19th century penal landscape. To date, it contains information on 843 English prisons, lock ups and hulks used to confine those accused and convicted of crime between 1800 and 1899.

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We’d love to hear from you! If you have any additional information on the prisons included in the database, especially pictures or archival material, please let us know. We are also keen to hear about how you’re using the data, and to receive any feedback you might have for improving the resource.

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