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Thread: Walton Gaol

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    Senior Member Colin Wilkinson's Avatar
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    Default Walton Gaol

    Walton Gaol 1974Walton Gaol 1930If a gaol was to be built on your street, you would probably care little for the architecture – you would just want to move to another place. Prisons stir up deep emotions and it is unlikely that one would be built in the heart of a residential community. Nevertheless, there [...]


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    Martin hmtmaj's Avatar
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    great pics them Colin.
    What was there befor ethe prison ?
    probably just farm land !
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    Good pic's Colin! Seeing that you are in "Prison" mode,I just wondered if you have ever come across any pic's,or info' on Liverpool city prison,which was in Great Howard st? This preceded Walton prison,and apparently,was the first purpose built prison,in the world?? It was demolished to make way for rail goods depot/sidings,and was of a radial style construction.There is a Herdman print of the prison,that I've seen,but wether it's demise was before the advent of photography,I dont know!

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    Smurf Member scouse smurf's Avatar
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    Nice to see google are above the law.... Walton Prison

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    And a lot of other photographers Smurfy. Such piffle. I've got pics of it on my site, the LRO have pics - who doesn't if they really want one. Like that time it was said you couldn't photograph in Lime st station yet there's loads of people getting the Ken Dodd/Bessie Braddock statue and like those who said no photographing in the Walker or Museum - the guards move out of the way for me - .
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    Senior Member Colin Wilkinson's Avatar
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    Copyright law is a complex area but legally if a statue is in a public place (i.e. in the street) it is not subject to copyright (it is in the public realm - like a building). However, if it is on private land (i.e Lime Street Station/Walker Art Gallery), copyright does apply and it is a matter for the landowner and the artist as to whether they wish to control access to photographers. In most cases, this is not pursued - but I was caught out at the International Garden Festival in 1984 when I published postcards of all the attractions, including the sculptures. I received two solicitors' letters demanding compensation because artists they represent had their work in view in two postcards. It was settled amicably but the point was that the Garden Festival was not a public place and there was no automatic freedom to publish views without agreement from all parties.

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    Senior Member fortinian's Avatar
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    re: The Gaol on Great Howard Street

    As you probably know, Liverpools first Gaol was Liverpool Tower. The tower (shown in the picture below) was built largely in the 15th century and by the mid-1700s was in such a bad state that prisoners frequently escaped. There is still a small alleyway, next to St Nicholas church called Prison Weint.



    In 1774 the tower was condemned and plans were stared to build a new 'modern' gaol. It was to be based on Newgate prison in London and one of the consultants on the scheme was John Howard - a great prison reformer who helped to make prison conditions better right across the UK. His name is commemorated in Liverpool in the name of the street that was built for the new gaol - Great Howard Street. From Wikimedia Commons

    In 1793 the gaol was still not finished but 4000 french POWs were incarcerated there It wasn't until 1811 that it was finally used for prisoners of the city. The prison was designed with a cenral block with six radiating wings. This style was called the 'seperate-system' and was (according to Wikipedia) pioneered at the Eastern State Penitentiary, Pennsylvania USA in 1829. (shown below) From Wikimedia Commons

    Here is a drawing of Great Howard Street from by WG Herdman in 1856.
    From BM Collection

    Its claim for being the 'first purpose built prison' sounds rather grand, but it is certainly an earlier example of the 'separate-system' prison than the Eastern State Pen and may be the first of that type.

    I doubt there is a photo of it, looking at my maps from about 1865 it seems to have gone by then and Kirkdale Prison has been built.

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    Senior Member dazza's Avatar
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    Nice work fortinian,

    Attached - the 1848 OS map, although I expect this is much later, as new railway lines and major alternations were included in 1864. I've pasted the prison [from an earlier map] onto this one for context. The entrance was directly opposite Neptune Street.

    Not much evidence of the prison today except for the railway line to exchange station which had to detour around the prison when it was originally laid out. Great Howard Street Goods Station was later built on the site.



    Also, Ackerman's 1847 view [copied from Liverpool - A People's History] originally sourced from LRO.

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    Senior Member dazza's Avatar
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    Did anyone spot the mistake on the coloured image above?
    "I have never let my schooling interfere with my education."... ... ... Mark Twain.

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    Thanks for the pic's, and info', Fortinian,and Dazza! I Noticed the interesting difference in design, from a square radial type,to an octagonal one,and wonder which one is true?

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    Senior Member dazza's Avatar
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    The square one is 'Eastern State Penitentiary, Pennsylvania USA' which as fortinian says pioneered the use of cell blocks in radial arms.

    The mistake in the image is far more basic. The World Cup is a clue?
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    I've got it ....it says goal instead of gaol haha!!!
    If you can't dazzle them with brilliance,baffle them with bull

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    Quote Originally Posted by dazza View Post
    The square one is 'Eastern State Penitentiary, Pennsylvania USA' which as fortinian says pioneered the use of cell blocks in radial arms.

    The mistake in the image is far more basic. The World Cup is a clue?
    My mistake,I was thinking they were both the same.(but different)

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    Smurf Member scouse smurf's Avatar
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    I assume it was pretty much opposite the costco car park ?

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    Senior Member dazza's Avatar
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    Well done Mandy spot on.

    A Victorian typo, and an own gaol for the illustrator.
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    Quote Originally Posted by robbo176 View Post
    I've got it ....it says goal instead of gaol haha!!!
    Ha, it took me years to figure, they were actually different words, as in Walton goal,and scoring a gaol

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    Quote Originally Posted by scouse smurf View Post
    I assume it was pretty much opposite the costco car park ?
    Yeh,next to the Northern hospital,if you remember that?

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    nope, don't remember it at all .

    Just tried getting the bearing from the street names I could almost make out against google maps

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    Quote Originally Posted by scouse smurf View Post
    nope, don't remember it at all .

    Just tried getting the bearing from the street names I could almost make out against google maps
    The "Northern" was where the car showroom is now,on Leeds st corner,and the gaol,was next door,along Great howard st.

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    Senior Member dazza's Avatar
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    The 'Northern Hospital' was covered on one of Colin's earlier threads here:

    http://www.yoliverpool.com/forum/sho...-Hospital-1963

    I think Great Howard Street is at the bottom of the picture?






    Also, here it is over the Google Earth view [below].
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    Senior Member wsteve55's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dazza View Post
    The 'Northern Hospital' was covered on one of Colin's earlier threads here:

    http://www.yoliverpool.com/forum/sho...-Hospital-1963

    I think Great Howard Street is at the bottom of the picture?






    Also, here it is over the Google Earth view [below].
    Yeh,that's right,good pic'!

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    If you mean the square one in my post - that isn't Great Howard Street. That is Eastern State Penitentiary, Pennsylvania USA. I used the image as an example of a hub-and-spoke prison.

    The general concensus is that the Eastern State Penitentiary (built in 1829) was the first of this type. Dazza's research clearly shows this claim to be erreneous as Great Howard Street Gaol is clearly a hub-and-spoke design and pre-dates the Eastern State Penitentiary by at least twenty years.

    According to David Brazendales notes in 'Georgian Liverpool a guide to the city in 1797' John Hope was given the task of preparing plans for a gaol based on Londons Newgate - just having been rebuilt in 1770. Newgate was not built as a hub-and-spoke prison so I can only assume that Hope's initial design was rejected for Howards design - although this is not made clear in the text.

    I'm having difficulty finding an earlier prison with the hub-and-spoke design... so perhaps Liverpool really does have the claim to the worlds first 'modern prison'. I mentioned the 'separate-state' system before, and can find no mention of this sytem relating to Great Howard Street.

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    Notice how the Leeds/Liverpool canal comes all the way to Leeds st with branches off down Old Hall st with barge berthing points off it. It now only goes to the rear of the Eldonian Village Hall off Burlington St. Here is a 1902 pic of the removal of one of the hump back bridges which went over the canal at Old Hall st. (LRO)




    Uploaded with ImageShack.us



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    Senior Member dazza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ged View Post
    Notice how the Leeds/Liverpool canal comes all the way to Leeds st with branches off down Old Hall st with barge berthing points off it. It now only goes to the rear of the Eldonian Village Hall off Burlington St. Here is a 1902 pic of the removal of one of the hump back bridges which went over the canal at Old Hall st. (LRO)




    Uploaded with ImageShack.us
    Great photo Ged,

    Here's the 1848-64 OS map [courtesy of LRO] showing it. The "Old Hall Street Bridge" connected "Old Hall Street Basin" to "Clarke's Basin". The map shows "Gt Howard Street" passing over it back then.

    Also, I've plotted on the position of the Great Howard Street "Borough Gaol".

    "Leeds Street" as shown here is not the same one we're all familiar with. This one was later renamed "Old Leeds Street" and still exists. The "Leeds Street" of today would be opposite where "Gibraltar Row" is shown on the map.

    The Northern Hospital listed here [opp. "Paisley Street"] is an earlier building to the one shown in Colin's thread.

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    Great map Dazza. Great to put an actually location to the picture and vice versa.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fortinian View Post
    According to David Brazendales notes in 'Georgian Liverpool a guide to the city in 1797' John Hope was given the task of preparing plans for a gaol based on Londons Newgate - just having been rebuilt in 1770. Newgate was not built as a hub-and-spoke prison so I can only assume that Hope's initial design was rejected for Howards design - although this is not made clear in the text.
    Interestingly, Hugh Hollinghurst writing in John Foster and Sons, Kings of Georgian Liverpool, says that "in 1777 the prison reformer John Howard had given advice on a design for a new gaol in Liverpool based on the recently constructed Newgate prison in London...James Picton attributes the eventual design for the prison to John Foster [Senior] although Mr Blackburne, a London architect, may have been involved. [Also] The firm Foster and Son was involved in the construction work in 1786", p.11. Odd that John Hope is not mentioned here?

    Liverpool has two historic sites that are peculiarly French - the Borough Gaol, where up to 4,000 French prisoners of war were held from 1793, and St John Gardens [formally cemetery] where many were eventually buried - due to the poor conditions they experienced in the gaol.

    I suspect many were picked up by Liverpool Privateers and brought back to the port?
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    French Napoleonic prisoners of war built some of the dock road walls which are still in situ. There is a plaque in St. Johns gardens by Sculptor Herbert Tyson Smith which mentions the prisoners of war buried there.
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    Senior Member dazza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ged View Post
    French Napoleonic prisoners of war built some of the dock road walls which are still in situ. There is a plaque in St. Johns gardens by Sculptor Herbert Tyson Smith which mentions the prisoners of war buried there.
    "French prisoners" [whilst in gaol] according to James Stonehouse writing in Recollections of Old Liverpool says that "I once saw a ship made by one of them - an exquisite specimen of ingenuity and craftsmanship. The ropes, which were spun to the proper sizes, were made of the prisoner's wife's hair." The ship's model below is in the MMM, and the picture is courtesy of them.

    They also put on theatre productions, made furniture and other articles in exchange for money to ease the burden of life in the gaol.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Senior Member Samp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Wilkinson View Post
    Copyright law is a complex area but legally if a statue is in a public place (i.e. in the street) it is not subject to copyright (it is in the public realm - like a building). However, if it is on private land (i.e Lime Street Station/Walker Art Gallery), copyright does apply and it is a matter for the landowner and the artist as to whether they wish to control access to photographers. In most cases, this is not pursued - but I was caught out at the International Garden Festival in 1984 when I published postcards of all the attractions, including the sculptures. I received two solicitors' letters demanding compensation because artists they represent had their work in view in two postcards. It was settled amicably but the point was that the Garden Festival was not a public place and there was no automatic freedom to publish views without agreement from all parties.
    I visited all the Garden Festival sites and took many photographs assfar as I am concerned the copyright is mine.

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    Does anyone have any information on the gaol that was located in or near Russel Street! this was supposed to have housed french prisoners of war, and may have accounted for them being buried in St Johns Garden, given the location?

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