Photo Study – Strangeways Prison – Manchester
May 11, 2016 5:41am CST
One of the creepiest, most chilling sights in Manchester is the watch-tower of Strangeways Prison, in the Cheetham Hill district of the city. The official name is HM Manchester Prison – the nickname Strangeways, as ironic as it sounds is actually the real name of the land it occupies. It first opened in 1868. The word Strangeways is Saxon for fast flowing stream though the prison life is a stagnant one. The tower rises high over six prison wing spokes enabling just a few wardens to see over all the wings and courtyards from what became known as a Panopticon view. My Dad used to tell me quite falsely that the tower was used for hangings with prisoners to be executed being dropped the entire length of the tower in total darkness until just inches from the floor at its base where their necks would snap. It gave me nightmares through my childhood. Strangeways has only two kinds of prisoners. 1/. Local remand felons awaiting trial and movement to other prisons 2/. Maximum security high profile criminals and those in danger of trying to escape. Many hangings were conducted at Strangeways up to 1964, and the famous hang-man, Albert Pierrepoint conducted a great deal of work at the prison. Famous inmates have included Moors Murderer Ian Brady, though he was only in Strangeways on robbery convictions. Mass murderer Harold Shipman was temporarily remanded here. TV presenter David Dickenson who presents antiques evaluation shows was incarcerated here for fraud. IRA supporter, and novelist, Brendan Behan did time in Strangeways. Strangeways is a scary part of our skyline. I seriously doubt if I could survive long in there. Arthur Chappell
15 people like this
• United States
11 May 16
It is creepy. And your dad sure did his part to creep you out with his stories. Shame on him. He should have known people aren't hanged like that—not for humanitarian reasons, of course—but for practical. The rope could break more easily or the poor victim hit something or someone on his way down.