Littledean Jail in Gloucester is a location with a long history of crime and punishment. Known as the Alcatraz of the Forest, this building has been used as a courthouse, police station and prison during its 225 year history and ghost hunts here have produced some startling results. Slamming doors, heavy footsteps, menacing shadows are all a common experience on a ghost hunt here and Littledean Jail has become a favourite with paranormal investigators as a result. Your ghost hunt will take you on a terrifying journey - are you ready to be locked in?
A tourist attraction by day, Littledean Jail is a hive of interesting and very unusual paraphernalia. You can spend hours walking around this location, reading some of the most interesting and little known facts about some of the most famous people in the world. Some of these people have a notorious past and the artefacts that complement the text about them is astonishing.
Chucky and friends loom over you as you walk through the door and walking a little further on you are confronted with the voodoo section where miniature human skeletons are encased. Littledean Jail is a strange location for so many reasons. At night, however, it takes on a whole new presence and ghost hunting at Littledean Jail is most definitely a unique experience. Imagine carrying out a lone vigil in a cell whilst you have effigy's staring down on you from a bygone past!
The hauntings here at Littledean Jail include a man seen in a green uniform who is seen to vanish through a wall in the old courtroom, children heard and seen in the lower wing and lower corridor. Bangs being heard in the holding cell on the glass casing and so much more. The time that we spend ghost hunting at Littledean Jail is never enough but we keep returning and always get more than we bargained for.
Haunted Happenings carry out vigils and experiments in the most active areas of this former house of correction and some of the paranormal evidence to date has been astonishing. People have said that they have seen the face of an elderly man staring at them in the dark. Interestingly this has been noted on many of our events with the same face being described by our guests.
Littledean Jail was a former house of correction, police station and courthouse is the county's most talked about, most unorthodox, not to be missed historical visitor attraction set in the Royal Forest of Dean. The 'Alcatraz of the Forest', Littledean Jail is not only home of the infamous 'Crime Through Time Museum which is the only museum of its kind in the World that is open to the public. It also houses the largest collection of 'QUADROPHENIA' memorabilia. A famous film in the 80's.
Life inside the Littledean Jail was seemingly far better than life outside for most of the Forest community. Existence outside was certainly hard, most if not all, those that lived in and around the Forest of Dean in the 18th century were destitute, disease ridden, illiterate and very, very poor. Those that were imprisoned here were at least guaranteed food, a place to sleep and some form of education, if only in religious instruction namely Catholicism.
Littledean Jail is listed as a Grade II building and was designed and built by Sir George Onesiphorus, a pioneer of prison reform and a leading architect of the time, William Blackburn. The prison was completed in 1791 and was supervised by another architect, William Hobson after the death of William Blackburn, who was also his brother-in-law.
The building work started in 1788 but it was halted for a short time due to bankruptcy. J. Fentiman from London finished the job. During its time, Little Dean jail was revolutionary and it later became the government's model of the best house of correction. The world famous Philadelphian Cherry Hill Penitentiary System in America was modelled after it.
The prison's formidable sandstone facade has withstood the test of time and it stands today like it did hundreds of years ago. It has a lot of history and it is also a place of infamy. It is a reminder of the labour, blood and sweat which were needed in order to build it. Little Dean Jail is not just a prison; it is an architecturally significant building. The first inmate admitted to Little Dean Jail was a 19-year old labourer by the name of Joseph Marshall. He was convicted for stealing a spade. Aside from adults, children as young as 8 years old were also incarcerated there.
There were three babies born in the jail, from 1837 to 1838. However, only one survived. In 1854, Littledean was used as a police station and a petty sessions court until 1874. The jail is currently owned by the Jones family and is open to the public as a crime museum displaying crime material from over a century.