HMP Dorchester was first built just before the Victorian era and was a local men’s prison. It was officially closed by the Ministry of Justice in 2013. Prior to its closure, the prison had a capacity of 252 and suffered considerable criticism by inspectors for its overcrowding and dated facilities. The building is now being redeveloped for a variety of different purposes. If you’d like to visit the site of HMP Dorchester, please refer to the map.
In 2006, a damning report revealed that a quarter of random drug tests on inmates had proven positive.
Dorchester prison fact 3
The original building was erected in 1795 and cost £18,000 to construct.
Dorchester prison fact 2
The last women to be hanged in public in Dorset was executed outside HMP Dorchester. One of the people watching her death was the young Thomas Hardy, who later went on to write some of the UK’s most well-known books.