Empty cells

When I was in Philadelphia I visited the Eastern State Penitentiary.  The prison in Reading (Berkshire) was built around similar times by Victorian architect George Gilbert Scott.  When opened in 1844, it was conceived as a model prison, constructed with a central monitoring point and three corridors with three stories of cells spreading out from the centre.

Rather than forcing prisoners to share cramped dormitories, they each got a clean cell in which they could contemplate their crimes, seek penance and be released as reformed characters.

Reading Goal has been extended over the years and most recently was a Young Offender’s Institution.  It closed in 2013 and stood empty for the next three years.  I was able to visit and explore it after ArtAngel  took over the prison for two months in 2016.

In my opinion, the architecture is a work of art in itself, vaulted ceilings, wrought iron railings and precise brickwork.

For daily pictures you can follow me on tumblr. at www.traveltash.tumblr.com, like the Travel-Tales page on Facebook at  www.facebook.com/traveltalesorg  and follow me on Twitter @tash_higman.


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