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Hard times behind bars.

Byline: Dave Morton Nostalgia Editor

IT may well have slipped from living memory, but Newcastle once had its very own fearsome jail.

Situated just east of the city centre, in Carliol Square, its iron gates slammed shut for the last time this week 90 years ago.

It had served for nearly 100 years as a prison for all levels of crime, with both a gallows and a house of correction, before it was demolished and Telephone House was built on the site.

-ed in the e unfortunate souls in our picture collection are just a few of the thousands who were incarcerated in the grim con-nes of Newcastle Gaol.

Memories Memories Keegan's as a Toon See U n -der the tough penal regime of the 19th century, the jails were also full of children imprisoned for what would be considered relatively minor oences today.

Such was the fate of 13-year-old errand boy Clement Doyle who was handed 14 days' hard labour for stealing clothes in 1873.

After serving his sentence at Newcastle Gaol, Clement then spent ve years in Market Weighton Reformatory School in Yorkshire.

Records show that some of the more regular of-of fences in Victorian times included common assault, breaches of the peace, minor riots and drunkenness.

Sentences were severe compared with today.

John Bolton, 26, was convicted of stealing leather and received six months' hard labour, while Patrick O'Neil, 19, got 18 months' hard labour for housebreaking.

Work included labouring for the shipyards, breaking stones for building projects and weaving heavy hair mats.

Murderers, however, would usually go to the gallows, and many executions took place here.

Excavations of the land have revealed bodies buried in quick lime which are presumably those of doomed prisoners.

e history of crime and punishment in Newcastle stretches a long way back.

Newcastle became responsible for the custody of its own prisoners in 1399 when it was made a county.

gate, the N e w -gate, the oldest and strongest of the city gates, was used as player sport the common gaol until its demolition in the early 1820s. A new gaol and house of correction was designed by John Dobson in 1823 and was built on a two-acre site at Carliol Square.

At a cost of PS35, 000, the new building comprised a series of radiating wings surrounded by a 25-foot wall and central tower, giving wardens a view on to the enclosed courtyard below. e gaol housed both men and women and there were sick rooms, work rooms, a chapel and even a treadmill.

By 1856 it had twice as many prisoners as it was designed for. e Home Oce took control of jails in 1878 and, in 1925, demolished the gaol.

Telephone House was built in its place in 1932, and no trace remains of Newcastle Gaol.

Left, |inside Newcastle Gaol which stood in Carliol Square between 1827 and 1925; above right, an artist's impression of Newcastle city centre and Newcastle Gaol, late 19th century

were also county. the early - NOSTALGIA Memories of Kevin Memories of Kevin Keegan's first game as a Toon player See sport


Newcastle Gaol, in the early 20th century

| Patrick O'Neil, 19, a |shoeblack, 18 months' hard labour for housebreaking

Alexander Campbell, 56, |a joiner, six months' hard labour for stealing clothes

John Bolton, 26, a |shoemaker, six months' hard labour for stealing leather

Clement Doyle, 13, |errand boy, 14 days' hard labour for stealing clothes
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Apr 2, 2015
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