List of Prisons in England during the 19th Century

Note: This page is under development -- contributions and corrections welcomed


1852 Chatham Convict Prison opens. (1856?)

1861 Riot at Chatham Convict Prison, suppressed by troops.


1848  Dartmoor for invalids opens

1850  Dartmouth open for convicts


1816 Millbank National Penitentiary opens.

1843 Millbank closes.


Location and Site History: Located on the Isle of Wight about 2 miles south of Cowes.

History: Opened as a reformatory for young offenders in 1837(?) . . .

Present Status: Parkhurst is now a high security prison. In 1999 a trio of escapers managed to break out of the prison. They did not manage to get off the Island and were captured a few days later. The break caused a furor in the House of Commons and the resulting Parliamentary Investigation led to the (sacrificial?) removal of the Chief Warder, Mr. Hilton(?)



1842 Pentonville Prison opens as a new National Penitentiary, designed by Major-General Sir Joshua Jebb.



1848 Portland Convict Prison opens


Location and Site History: Located off Kingston Road in Portsmouth.

History: Opened as a prison in 1850.

Present Status: The prison still exists

Woking Prison for Invalids

Location and Site History: Located in the Knapp Hill vicinity of Woking.

History: Opened as a prison for invalids in 1859. This resulted in a 34.6% population increase at Woking between the 1851 and 1861 census.

Present Status: The prison was shut down in XXXX. The property then became a military establishment, known as Inkerman Barracks. That establishment was demolished around 1990 and the area is now housing estate.


  1. mentioned in Crosby, Alan, A History of Woking, (Phillimore 1982, ISBN 0 85033456X) pp 108-110
  2. First Report of the Governor of Woking Prison (1860) pp297-335. ( House of Commons State Papers 1860 (35)(1713)


Hilary M Ritchie, Office of the County Archivist, Surrey History Centre