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HMP SHEPTON MALLET

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Prison - new buildings 1818-19 and perimeter wall. By 1625 the Shepton Mallet House of Correction was in full use. Cornhill House and one acre of land had been purchased for this purpose. Major repairs were made to the prison in 1646. In 1790 the site was enlarged as the gatelodge and cottages to the rear of the prison were purchased. Much of the prison was rebuilt at this time and the Keeper's House erected, incorporating part of the boundary wall. The pre-1817 prison was a haphazard group of buildings arranged along Cornhill on the north side of the present site. They included accommodation for the keeper and his family, a magistrate's room, a chapel and rooms for female inmates. Between 1817 and 1820 adaptations were made and two wings erected. A treadwheel was installed in 1823, the mill building standing outside the prison wall. In 1903 the treadwheel house was converted into an industrial shop. Between 1830 and 1832 much of the prison was rebuilt. A 1843 scheme saw the erection of the present A Wing, B Wing and the hospital/reception range. In 1848 the present C Wing and chapel were built. Fire engulfed the prison in 1904 neccessitating the reconstruction of all three wings. By 1930 the prison was closed upon the recommendation of the Prison Commission. In 1938 parts of the Public Record Office were moved to the prison. In 1940 the prison was occupied by the Royal Pioneer Corps. In 1942 it was taken over by United States forces for use as detention quarters. A new execution house was built adjoining the main prison blocks. After World War II the prison was returned to the British Army. In 1966 it returned to being a civilian prison, and it is probably in the following years that the kitchen/chapel block and factory block were erected.

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