Duke Street Prison

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Re: Duke Street Prison

Postby Riotgrrl » Sat Nov 22, 2008 8:38 pm

scottland wrote:I think the facades are the old meat-market,probably listed status.


That might explain the weird calf statue in the square in front of them, and there was a bull-head carving thing on them.

Are the other walls just on the city centre side of Duke Street where the prison was?
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Re: Duke Street Prison

Postby Josef » Sat Nov 22, 2008 8:49 pm

There's a number of threads on HG about this area, RG, for example this one, with a useful link from Dexter which effectively answers your question.
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Re: Duke Street Prison

Postby HollowHorn » Sat Nov 22, 2008 11:30 pm

As far as I know, the only remaining part of the wall is in the Drygate. You really can't miss it, it's all of 20 ft. high. The only other remaining part of the prison is the building which now houses the Cathedral House Hotel, which used to be the halfway house for women prisoners awaiting release back into society. I could be wrong here, it may have housed women with children. I really should read this whole thread again. ::): The small walls on Duke St. & John Knox St. only mark the original position of the prison walls.
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Re: Duke Street Prison

Postby bats » Wed Jan 14, 2009 7:05 pm

these are the walls of the old meat market
i live on the site of the prison
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Re: Duke Street Prison

Postby escotregen » Thu Jan 15, 2009 9:15 pm

A recently joined HG member was signposted to me becuase of my enduring fascination with Duke Street prison. I thought it appropriate to copy most of my pm reply here as a sort of recap.

The Hidden Glasgow thread on Duke Street prison is about the best and most accessible source of information on Duke Street prison you will find. I have found the prison to be the most interesting and at the same time most frustrating item in Glasgow’s modern history. Frustrating because there is scant to almost nothing in either the physical documentary history or oral folk history or even anecdote about it; other than most of which you will find on Hidden Glasgow.

It has even been suggested to me that because for its later life it was a womans’ prison in a time when society was more straight-laced and socially censuring, you and your family would not want to let on that you knew too much about something like Duke Street prison!

Yet this lack of accessible history is despite the fact that Duke Street prison was one of the biggest civic construction programmes in its time. It was a masterstroke in Glasgow’s early 19th century ambitions to accrue more civic and political power to itself in West Central Scotland (another poster confirmed it was called the prison ‘for Glasgow and Barony’).

It became Scotland’s main place of execution by hanging from the neck (capital punishment in the time of a less civilised society) until that mantle (ouch!) passed to Barlinnie.

Prisoners included the later ‘Red Clydeside MP Emanuel Shinewell arrested after the infamous incidents in George Square in Jan 1919. Perhaps that was why an ex head of MI5 was one of the last of the Duke Street Governors :wink: .

Another suggestion made to me about the lack of documentary evidence is that because the prison would have been managed by HM Prison Service (as part of the Home Office at the time perhaps?) the tracing of archives would now be very difficult.

An indication that the suggestion of closed prison service history may be true, is that an elderly relative of someone who worked at the prison did allow me sight of some precious photographs and bits of paper, but only on my strictest promise not to say anything about her, her relative or the material. She could not be persuaded in any way that this would not even now be some kind of ‘breaking the prison service rules’ – and who am I to contest such an enduring sense of service and discretion?

(Bits and pieces on the 19919 George Square suppression from elsewhere include:- In the immediate aftermath of 31 Jan 1919 'Bloody Friday', as it became known, Government concerns about industrial militancy and revolutionary political activity in Glasgow reached new heights. Fears within government of a workers' revolution in Glasgow led to the deployment of troops and tanks in the city.

Howitzers were positioned in the City Chambers, the cattle market was transformed into a tank depot, machine guns were posted on the top of hotels and, remembering Easter 1916, the main post office, and armed troops stood sentry outside power stations and patrolled the streets. This was the only time in British history that tanks were used against workers - ordered in by Winston Churchill who had an almost pathological hatred of Trade Unionists.)
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Re: Duke Street Prison

Postby hazy » Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:59 pm

lovin it escotregen. Get the book started.
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Re: Duke Street Prison

Postby dmf » Fri Jan 16, 2009 11:07 pm

Hi Escotregen,

Are you aware of the full story of Susan Newall, the last woman hanged in Scotland at Duke Street Prison on 10th October 1923?

Or of the last double hanging in Scotland, which took place at Duke Street Prison on 26th May 1920 when two army deserters were hanged for a murder in a Glasgow park?

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Re: Duke Street Prison

Postby escotregen » Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:33 pm

dmf yes thanks I had picked up on those stories.It's important that we always take an opportunity to collect this type of story and anecdote, so thanks again for mentioning them.
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Executions at Duke Street Prison

Postby chuppazee » Tue Feb 10, 2009 12:45 pm

Does anyone have any information on the executions that took place at Duke Street Prison. I have a list of dates and names but am seeking information regarding the whereabouts of the bodies after hanging. Were they buried on the prison grounds or elsewhere? If they were buried on the prison grounds were they moved at all?
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Re: Duke Street Prison

Postby jamierourke » Wed Feb 18, 2009 4:15 pm

scottland wrote:I think the facades are the old meat-market,probably listed status.
yes,that is the old meat market and inside there was a very dubious bar called the market,the local gang THE CALTON TONGS,ruled all this area in the 60s and 70s.quite a scary area! :).
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Re: Duke Street Prison

Postby dmf » Wed Feb 18, 2009 6:52 pm

Chuppazee

My information is that the executed individuals were buried in the ground adjacent to the north west wall of the prison. There were not moved in later years because there was nothing to move.

All executed bodies were placed in extra wide coffins that had between 1 and 3 inches of lime chalk layering the bottom of the coffin. After the body was placed in the coffin, it was also sprayed with lime and then interred in the ground. After burial, the ground was hosed to excess with water to assist/allow the lime to go to work. Therefore, in a very short period of time, there was nothing solid left in the coffins.

Hope this helps explain.


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Re: Duke Street Prison

Postby escotregen » Thu Feb 19, 2009 10:25 am

Chuppazzee the bodies were indeed buried within the prison walled area. The bodies of executed persons could not be buried on consecrated ground (that is Christian consecrated). Hence their burial within the prison confines.

I have come across a version of where the graves are sited that differs from dmf’s. This version has the graves sited nearer the south east walls, the base of which still remain. Folklore and anecdote suggests that that is why the layout of the existing public housing development was designed as to leave the area soft landscaped. Seemingly Glaswegians didnae like the idea of living over the graves of executed villains.


These alternative versions of history and folklore are of course one of the fascinating aspects of the Duke Street story. I suspect that the authorities might have been happy to let rumour and competing folklore go around in the interests of preventing any precise knowledge and morbid curiosity building up around the exact sites. I’ll be in touch with a local history project so hopefully we will unearth (oops!) more.

Another thing I should mention is that I have found grounds for considerable doubt about the accuracy of some of the 'official' records on executions towards the end of the period that Duke Street prison played host.
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Re: Duke Street Prison

Postby chuppazee » Wed Feb 25, 2009 5:57 pm

Thanks for the execution info much appreciated.
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Re: Duke Street Prison

Postby HollowHorn » Wed Mar 04, 2009 1:06 pm

This photograph is titled 'Bullet holes in the remaining Duke Street prison wall - Drygate 1997'
Image

Given the accuracy involved, I can only assume that they were put there by Annie Oakley during her visit to Dennistoun. ::):
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Re: Duke Street Prison

Postby jaffamuffin » Sat Dec 26, 2009 11:58 pm

Hi all

First post etc

This thread pretty interesting, but couple of questions:

1. Where exactly was Duke street prison? And where is the wall with the bullet holes?

I hope this is allowed but I put a grid on the aerial image, perhaps someone could give me a grid reference?

(hosted by me, can be removed if requested)
Image


2. (what led me to this page) Was wondering if anybody know what the building in A7 is/was. It's still there and has been boarded up for years. It has a kind of grand entrance so i always assumed it was more than just a tenement block. Google streetview maps link : http://maps.google.co.uk/?ie=UTF8&ll=55 ... ,,0,-12.33


3. Also I can see from the above photo that the facade that remains on the junction of Duke/High street is what's left of a large railway station : what rail way station was this and when was it knocked down? google link: http://maps.google.co.uk/?ie=UTF8&ll=55 ... 32,,0,-1.3



Thanks - this is a fascinating site, continuing to read..... :)
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