After closing in December 2013, Northallerton Prison in North Yorkshire was taken over by the local council, who plan to redevelop the site.
But before the building works begin, they recently opened the facility to the public for two weeks’ worth of guided tours.
The first lot of tours sold out so quickly that more tickets had to be released the following week. Despite being poised at my computer when both sets of tickets were released, I missed out altogether.
I’ve been on prison tours before, but it would have been interesting to take a look around a facility that was still in use only a few years ago, after opening way back in 1788.
Still, several of my work friends went along for the tour, which was led by a former prison guard who had spent much of his career at Northallerton, after initially working at Wandsworth Prison, where the Kray twins were incarcerated.
The photos give the former prison a grim and atmospheric air. I’m always fascinated by the stories that are contained within the walls of such buildings, especially those that have been abandoned or left to ruin.
It’s easy to see why the tours were so popular, as the prison is a big unknown in the otherwise quiet market town of Northallerton and this offered a glimpse behind the façade.