Category Archives: Shepton Mallet Prison

Shepton Mallet Prison

Ghostly Attention at Shepton Mallet Prison

Shepton Mallet Prison has been dubbed Britain’s most haunted prison, even The Sun has splashed this headline. What happens next may be down to the stories or the ghosts of Shepton Mallet Prison itself, who may now be having their say prior to the property developer outlining in detail what they intend to do with those poor souls still buried at the site. Shepton Mallet Prison was closed to save money in 2013 by the Government, in its place we were going to have a super-sized prison. Now we Read more [...]
Shepton Mallet Prison

Human stories remains a big draw for Shepton Mallet Prison

Shepton Mallet Prison - one of the UK's most ancient prisons - is proving that demand for its untold human stories and history is not abating. Recently, TV production company Transparent Television spent a week at the prison filming for a major television series for Channel 5, presented by Michael Portillo. Transparent Television's  programme about the prison will dig a little deeper to find untold human stories, and will be aired in the autumn by the major broadcaster. Popular presenter Michael Read more [...]
Shepton Mallet Prison

Buy a prison flat – but don’t bring your car.

Shepton Mallet Prison has been lost to a developer's viability plan, denying the town of its rightful share of a windfall heritage asset. It came down to a planning committee, with 8 voting for the proposal and 4 against. We now will have a 400 year old ancient prison of some significance  being transformed into 146 flats, where there are 6 parking spaces for every 5 homes (some of which have 3 bedrooms). This includes visitors and delivery spaces. Most agree this is at least 100 spaces short. Neighbours Read more [...]
Shepton Mallet Prison

Shepton Mallet Prison’s Last Stand

January 2nd 2017 is the deadline for feedback on the latest plans for Shepton Mallet Prison.  The prison was sold in January 2013 in a bid to save £63 million a year in running costs across six prisons.  A timeline of the prison sale has been published here. Below  is my objection to the latest plans, which I hope will encourage more people to give their voice (for or against) the proposals for the future of Shepton Mallet Prison. Daniel Foster – Planning Officer Planning Application Read more [...]
Shepton Mallet Prison

An open letter to City & Country following the rejection of their plans for Shepton Mallet Prison – “please live up to the high standards and integrity you set yourself”

[For background information and a timeline of the prison sale, click here] Dear Tim and Helen, [Tim Sargeant, Owner of City & Country Group, Helen Moore, City & Country MD] Your plans for Shepton Mallet prison (146 homes and only 150 parking spaces) were rejected in part this week in an extraordinary planning board decision that didn’t align with the Council’s own planning officer's recommendations.  The main sticking point was the parking provision and you have put on public Read more [...]

A history of selling an ancient prison in Shepton Mallet

January 2013: Justice Secretary Chris Grayling announced that Shepton Mallet would be one of seven prisons that would be closed in a bid to save £63 million a year in running costs across the six prisons. The proposed super prisons would be around 25% bigger than Britain's existing largest facility and a feasibility study into its construction is to begin. The super prisons would be in London, north-west England or north Wales. The prisons that are to close are Bullwood Hall in Essex, Canterbury, Read more [...]
Writer Stephen Harding

The dark history at Shepton Mallet Prison during World War II? Was the Dirty Dozen inspired by Shepton Mallet’s gaol and were World War II US servicemen put to death because of their race?

Stephen Harding is an Army veteran, a long-time defence-affairs journalist and his New York Times best-seller “The Last Battle”— the true story of the only time in World War II when American and German troops joined forces and fought together—is currently in film production.  Stephen is fascinated by the history of Shepton Mallet prison, researching it extensively with the help of local history books from Franics Disney and Alan Stone (Shepton Mallet Local History Group). In a recent Read more [...]
Shepton Mallet Prison - turning a prison into luxury homes

“Plushly renovated prisons make for secure, quirky homes with colourful histories”, but should the bodies stay or go?

The Daily Mail recently trumpeted that: "Plushly renovated prisons make for secure, quirky homes with colourful histories".  The article about Shepton Mallet Prison was discussing the merits of moving into  a £125,000  cell turned  flat with one or two bedrooms, up to £500,000 for a family — or gang-sized — four-bedroom home. While the idea of living in a secure  quirky new luxury home in an old Somerset market town was being pushed out to the media, there was another more pressing Read more [...]
Shepton Lantern Parade

Shining a light on a vision for a town

Shepton was shining last night with around 100 lanterns made and paraded with pride from Collett Park to the Market Place. Young and old, long-standing residents and those new to the town reflect what Shepton IS. A creative community spirit clear to us all. A town with rich heritage, historic architecture of sheep farming, cloth production and brewing; the large-scale food and drink and nascent creative industries that we see today. The town came together and pulled in people from the surrounding Read more [...]
11424647-large

Is Shepton Mallet on the cusp of losing an important piece of its history and a potential heritage and tourism asset?

City & Country ran the third of four public consultations on the future use of Shepton Mallet Prison this week.   Once again the foreboding Prison gates were swung open to a queue of people keen to get inside. This is a place that has shut out much of the local community since the 1600s, while housing the infamous - including the Kray brothers. The Magna Carta, Domesday Book and the agreement signed between Neville Chamberlain and Hitler at the Munich Conference in September 1938, as well Read more [...]