The prison was designed by William Blackburn and opened as a county goal in 1792, it was substantially rebuilt in 1840 with flanking brick wings. In 1971 a new young offenders wing was also built. Further improvements were made in 1987, including a new gate, administration block and visits centre. In April, 2003, Gloucester was named in a survey as among the 20 most overcrowded jails in the United Kingdom. The following day, the prison was the scene of a three-and-a-half-hour seige when two prisoners protested over visiting rights by barricading themselves in a cell.
In June 2007, the independant monitoring board criticised Gloucester Prison for its overcrowding, poor dining provision and cramped cells. A month later over 100 prisoners had to be moved to other jails after severe flooding across the Gloucestershire area submerged the ground floor of the prison and interfered with its water supplies.
In August 2007, the prison was criticised after an inspection report found the levels of organised activities for inmates at Gloucester (such as training and education) were woeful. The report also stated that one wing of the prison should be refurbished. On 10 January 2013, it was announced that the prison was one of seven in England to close. The prison formally closed on 31 March 2013. The site of the prison is due to be redeveloped, however there are a number of executed criminals buried in unmarked graves under the prison. In December 2015 it was revealed that the remains of a wall of a large Norman castle had been uncovered in the former exercise yard of the prison.
The spirit of a woman who was held in the nearby cells of Blackfriars Abby used to appear in the jail and constantly mock the prisoners who resided there. Some say that she was killed by an inmate and she returns regularly to continue her search for him and enact her revenge. Activity is said to be strongest of all on landing A3 cell 25. Reports have said that in 1969 the occupant of cell 25 and some other prisoners, held a seance and the spirit of a woman communicated through an upturned glass. After that pots and pans and books were all thrown about the cell. A few days later a disembodied hand appeared in mid air and pointed one finger at the cells occupant. Very spooky indeed. Join us for the night and witness for yourself just what can go bump in the night, do you dare to be locked into cell 25?
Included in the price is snacks and drinks, which are provided throughtout the night, use of all our technical equipment. We will also be having a medium joining us for the night to pick up on any spirits that are around.
Date: 9th Septmeber. Time 8pm - 4pm