Inside Dorchester Prison

Our new house has a rather interesting view from the rear – it overlooks Dorchester Prison – or rather the building formerly known as Dorchester Prison as it closed in 2013. I am rather fond of it – the magnificent 19th century building with it’s huge chimney stacks makes for an interesting skyline. The whole place has been purchased by a big development company, who opened it to the public for an afternoon this week as part of the consultation process into what they will do with it.


The view of the main prison building from our house.

The view of the main prison building from our house.


Obvs as it is so close to us, what they do with it is of interest to us, not that I seriously expect local residents opinions to be taken into account over financial gain, but there was no way we were going to miss an opportunity to see what lurks behind the walls. And very interesting it was too.


prison steps



We were only allowed access to a very small part of it, but I found it fascinating, and a little bit creepy in a cool way. We took the obligatory photos of each other pretending to look suitably prison miserable. And I especially enjoyed reading the graffiti etched into the window panes of the cells – sadly it didn’t photograph well, but my favourite was ‘I’m off to Narnia’ which someone else had responded to with ‘fuck that shit’, which gave me the giggles being an immature lover of a good profanity.

I imagine there have been some very dark days for people imprisoned here over it’s long history. The main buildings were built in the late 19th century after a cholera epidemic led to the demolition of the previous prison on the same site. Go back far enough in time and it was the site of the long lost Dorchester Castle.

It seems likely that the grand old building will remain, despite not being listed. I hope the plans allow for a good archaeological rummage before anything else is done, as there is no doubt much to be found here.

I hope when they are finished there will be some decent priced housing and maybe some lovely outdoor space to explore. I am imagining whatever it is will provide us with a fair degree of noise and dust while it is ongoing though – deep joy!


Love Miss Cisco XXX



  1. April 28, 2015 / 10:30 am

    I wish I had gone to this open afternoon, it looks so interesting. Lovely photos too. Let’s cling on to the hope that it is turned into something of value to the Dorch community. Hope you don’t have too much building aggro!
    Clare recently posted…Learning To RunMy Profile

    • April 28, 2015 / 10:38 am

      It was interesting – not a single plan from them though……will have to wait until November to see what they have in mind for the place! We must sort out that coffee now the kids are back at school 🙂
      Sonya Cisco recently posted…Inside Dorchester PrisonMy Profile

  2. April 28, 2015 / 3:12 pm

    It looks like a really interesting building. Some of the old prisons have been turned into hotels, maybe that will happen to this one.
    Erica Price recently posted…April Round Up PostMy Profile

  3. April 28, 2015 / 3:20 pm

    Now it isn’t a working prison I can see it’s appeal as being interesting. I hope they do put affordable housing there for you – and I hear they are trying to get rid of stamp duty on properties under 300K
    Pinkoddy recently posted…France: Attractions at Discount PricesMy Profile

  4. April 28, 2015 / 5:31 pm

    You’ve done a really great job with those pictures, black and white is very hard to get right and I see a lot of washed out greyscale images on blogs, but yours are really punchy.nlove the details and angles you have chosen too.
    Clare Mansell recently posted…A creative holiday in Malta (part 1)My Profile

  5. April 28, 2015 / 5:39 pm

    How interesting – and what a great chance to have a look inside. I hope that the building work isn’t too disruptive for you.

  6. April 28, 2015 / 10:43 pm

    I would agree 100% on your thoughts, definitely of archaeological interest – and I don’t envy you the rebuild/alteration process! How brilliant to have been allowed in though.
    Kate Thompson recently posted…No diagnosis? What’s the Big Deal?My Profile

  7. April 29, 2015 / 6:28 am

    Wow, what a building. Perhaps not somewhere you would want to get locked in at night perhaps! 😀 Love the quote on the steps, maybe that was the way out after a sentence!
    Emma recently posted…Munich’s StadtmuseumMy Profile

  8. April 29, 2015 / 9:09 am

    Wow, that’s fascinating and I love the photos – so eerie and dramatic. I would have laughed at that graffiti too. I was in hysterics for 15 minutes the other day at a large penis someone had drawn on a phone box!
    Sarah MumofThree World recently posted…My skin turns to sh*tMy Profile

    • April 29, 2015 / 9:34 am

      see, we will never, EVER be proper grown ups! 😀

  9. April 29, 2015 / 11:00 am

    I would have been in there like a shot too, for the open day obvs, not crimes. Though maybe crimes against fashion…

    That graffiti reference made me laugh, tickles my sense of humour too.

    Talking of the f-word- did you enjoy the Sleaford Mods gig?
    Mammasaurus recently posted…Tulip display at RHS WisleyMy Profile

  10. April 29, 2015 / 2:38 pm

    Ooooh. I’d never thought of prisons as being nice places in any way until I stayed at the Malmaison in Oxford which is a former prison. That just made me look at them in a whole new light. Those walls must have seen an awful lot though!
    Penny Carr recently posted…Review: Wicked Uncle – Brilliant Children’s PresentsMy Profile

  11. April 29, 2015 / 2:39 pm

    wow what a great opportunity and i love the phase on the steps

  12. April 29, 2015 / 6:32 pm

    Oh wow, the black and white photos look so atmospheric. It must have been brilliantly cool to have a butcher’s inside. I’ve been inside the prison of Lancaster castle, and that was pretty cool. So mucheck creepy history going on in buildings like this. Glad to hear it isn’t going to be knocked down – that would be rubbish.
    Fiona @ Free Range Chick recently posted…Considering Dropping the ‘Parenting & Lifestyle’ StraplineMy Profile

  13. April 29, 2015 / 7:56 pm

    Oh, how interesting! I guess the inside of prison is not something many people get to see unless they’re actually an inmate. It’s great that they gave you the opportunity to look round and discover a bit of the history before they do something different with the building.
    Lauren recently posted…Review: Bobux Xplorer shoesMy Profile

  14. April 30, 2015 / 7:46 am

    I would have love to have gone in for a nose – such an impressive building and such a shame if they demolish it
    Kara recently posted…Make Your Merlin Summer MagicalMy Profile

  15. May 4, 2015 / 11:46 pm

    fingers crossed its not going to be too inconvenient! .. i would love to own a building that has such history .. although minus some of the criminals! 🙂
    Jaime Oliver recently posted…Discovering Stickerkid – A ReviewMy Profile

  16. May 9, 2015 / 11:52 am

    That sounds so interesting, I’d love to have looked around xx

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