Hello from sunny Wigan.
This is my first posting and being from Wigan I want something for nowt.
I'm researching a murder that was committed in 1863 at a coal mine called Bawkhouse colliery, Red Rock, Haigh which is a small Hamlet to the North of Wigan.
Long story short, a group of poachers went to the mine to kill the nightshift boilerman, one of them hit him with a crowbar and then threw him into the furnace.
One of the gang was hanged in public at Kirkdale Jail in 1866.
I've looked on the maps and as far as I can see the former Kirkdale Jail was to the South of the railway station. It now looks like a park or something similar.
The roads surrounding it are; North Dingle,Rumney Rd west and Garnett Ave.
Am I looking in the right area?
Thanks in advance.
You sure are. Sessions road takes its name from the sessions house that was there and there was a pub called the Sessions that was demolished a good few years ago. Here's a little thread on it
Liverpool records office has some info on it too. Note it was gaol back then.
Last edited by Ged; 03-18-2009 at 03:29 PM.
Hello Wigginer in sunny Wigan - from sunny France (21?C today)
Originally Posted by Wigginer
I'm sure you're going to get more authoritive info concerning your enquiry
from others on this site but I'm very interested in this area since I once lived
in Rumney Road which was opposite the Kirkdale Homes. Before the Homes,
( a euphemism for Workhouse) where I was actually employed for a while, it was what they called an Industrial School, if I remember rightly, and before
the School it was Kirkdale Gaol. How much,if any, of the Gaol was incorporated in the School and later in the Homes I don't know. Suffice it to say that none of the buildings now exist. They have been replaced by housing. If I can help you further in any way by all means let me know.
Regards Stan H.
Thanks to Ged and Stan for the info and the links.
That's a bit more of the story uncovered.
This what the "GAOL" looks like today
yes, your right! The gaol grounds were turned into the recreation ground ( the rec',as we knew it!) on the photo'.The Kirkdale homes were on the other side of Rumney rd, opposite my old home,no'28, which has now gone!
as an ex Rumney roader,thought you might like these pic's,especially the ones of the "Kirkies",as we called them,(sorry if I've posted these before?)
Great pics, WSteve.
I love the old buildings, especially the industrial stuff.
Here is a map from the 1850s showing the gaol and surroundings.
Chaplain of Kirkdale Gaol
A relative was chaplain at Kirkdale Gaol in the 19th C. No doubt he accompanied the murderer you mentioned to his execution. Interestingly, only if the prisoner admitted his guilt would be get his last Holy Communion before execution. Attached is a photo of Kirkdale Gaol taken from The Lost Villages of Liverpool by Derek Whale and originally form the Liverpool City Engineer's Collection at the Liverpool Record Office. Also a interesting drawing of the chapel at Kirkdale Gaol where the prisoners sat not in pews but enclosed boxes in the chapel. I forget where this image came from.
Last edited by taffy; 03-19-2009 at 06:50 PM.
Reason: picture problem
Originally Posted by taffy
From the way the text reads accompanying the picture of the prisoners in the chapel, could it be that you took the photograph of a display at St. George's Hall?
All the best
Some of you may be interested in the review I wrote of the book on Kirkdale Prison, The Treadmill and the Rope: The History of a Liverpool Prison by Tod Sloan, published in 1988. Go to
All the best
That was a very interesting little post, Taffy and Chris. And just to think that
I spent my early years playing about in the Kirkdale Rec in total ignorance
of what had gone on there only 30/40 years before. I don't think I'll bother
to try to get the book though I'll certainly keep a look-out for any future
postings about Kirkdale Gaol.
But I bet I'd have been down to the Library in Brock Street to see if I could
find out more info if I'd known about it then! Unfortunately the Library has
gone the same way as the Gaol.
Taffy, Chris thanks for pics and link.
More info; Thomas Grime was hanged on Saturday, September 1st, 1866, outside Kirkdale Prison, Liverpool for the Murder of James Barton. A crowd of 50,000 watched, many having walked all the way from Wigan in torrential rain.
William Calcraft was the hangman;
William Calcraft - Little Baddow, near Chelmsford, Essex 1800- 1879.
Period in office - 1829-1874.
Calcraft was the longest serving executioner of all and was noted for his "short drops" causing most of his victims to strangle to death. It is not known precisely how many executions he carried out but it is estimated at between 400 and 450, including those of at least 35 women
Last edited by Wigginer; 03-20-2009 at 07:17 PM.
I believe Kirkdale gaol was the last one to have a public hanging, before hangings took place inside the the prisons.
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