1792 The Old Gloucester Gaol

Welcome to the Public Consultation pages for 1792 The Old Gloucester Gaol.

In December 2018 City & Country obtained planning permission and listed building consent for the redevelopment of the former HMP Gloucester site, following the closure of the prison by the Ministry of Justice in 2013. The approved scheme comprises the conversion of Grade II* and Grade II listed former prison buildings to provide 38 residential dwellings and 481 sqm (GIA) of flexible commercial / community floorspace, together with the construction of seven new residential blocks to accommodate 164 residential units. The scheme also includes associated car parking for the residential units, cycle parking, private and communal amenity space and landscaping.

The display boards and feedback questionnaires for the consultation events held in relation to the scheme can be found under the documents section.


  • 12th century

    The first settlers on the banks of the River Severn at Gloucester are thought to have been the Romans who settled in the municipality of Glevum. It is likely that Gloucester attracted settlers as the river was shallow and narrow enough for a ford or rudimentary bridge.

    The name Gloucester derives from the Anglo-Saxon term ‘ceaster’ for fort, with the addition of the Roman prefix, Glev (pronounced ‘glau’), which would indicate that the Anglo-Saxons built a fort to protect their town. Gloucester Castle was built on the site of the current prison in the very early decades of the 12th century and was partly in use as a gaol.

  • 15th Century

    Since the mid-15th century Gloucester Castle had been in decline since the mid-C15.

  • 17th Century

    By the mid-C17 only the keep (used as the gaol) and the main gatehouse survived. The gaol walls were rebuilt and a brick bridewell (a prison for petty offences) was built to the north of the keep. In 1783, the High Sheriff of Gloucestershire, Sir George Onesiphorus Paul, observed the poor conditions at the castle keep gaol, noting that inmates had to be chained to the wall to prevent escapes from the increasingly dilapidated structure. 
    A new prison was built in 1786-1791 by William Blackburn as a central block with four wings extending off each corner to create a roughly H- shaped plan, and then was substantially rebuilt in 1840 by county surveyor, John Collingwood.

    1819 Engraving GloucesterGate AfterGaolConversion 800x500

  • 20th Century

    In the early decades of the 20th century most of Blackburn’s original buildings were demolished as part of a programme to update facilities at the prison. The west range was demolished around 1920 and a terrace of eight officer houses was instead built in the northwest corner.

    The internal structure of the former Debtor’s Prison was gutted and replaced with a concrete frame in the 1970s. The eight terraced officers’ houses built in the 1920s were demolished and a new administrative block took their place in 1985. Most of the buildings on the western half of the site were also constructed during this time. 

    Aerial Prison View 1928 800x500

  • 21st Century

    Her Majesty’s Prison Gloucester was decommissioned and made available for redevelopment in 2013.


First Consultation Boards

First Consultation – Feedback Questionnaire

Second Consultation Boards

Second Consultation – Feedback Questionnaire

Third Consultation Boards

Third Consultation – Feedback Questionnaire

Fourth Consultation Boards

Fourth Consultation – Feedback Questionnaire