Suffragettes' historic London prison to close

2015-11-26 05:13


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

London - Holloway women's prison, which held suffragettes as well as notorious murderers and where the last woman to be executed in Britain was hanged, is to close down, Finance Minister George Osborne said on Wednesday.

The largest female prison in western Europe, Holloway, in north London, is being closed as part of government plans to sell off city-based prisons to turn into housing and build more modern facilities further away.

"Old Victorian prisons in our cities that are not suitable for rehabilitating prisoners will be sold," Osborne told parliament.

"I can tell the House that Holloway prison - the biggest women's jail in western Europe - will close," he said.

The historic institution opened as a mixed prison in 1852 before becoming female-only in 1902.

The Victorian complex was torn down and completely rebuilt between 1971 and 1985.

Well-known inmates have included "Moors murderer" Myra Hindley and serial killer Rose West.

Before it was redeveloped, it also housed many leading suffragettes detained for taking part in militant protests as women pushed for the vote in the early 1900s.

Some were force fed in the prison after going on hunger strike, making it a symbol of women's rights.

Five women were executed at the prison, Ruth Ellis being the last in 1955. The outrage provoked by her hanging helped sway public opinion, and eventually the law, against capital punishment in Britain.

Justice Secretary Michael Gove described the jail, which is expected to close in the summer of 2016, as "inadequate and antiquated".

The government has set aside £1.3bn for the overhaul of the prison system.

Read more on:    uk

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.