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Fancy living in a converted prison? Plans revealed for historic Shepton Mallet site

Parts of a historic former prison in Somerset are to be turned into flats.

Shepton Mallet prison closed and the last of the inmates were moved out in 2013 when this historic building was sold off by the Ministry of Justice.

The developer which bought it has now applied for planning permission to convert the old cell blocks into rows of apartments - 146 homes in total.

Credit: Artist impression

We'll be knocking a number of cells together to make someone's apartment. In terms of the window, we'd be looking to lower the sills to get a lot more natural light into the room.

– Richard Winsborough, Head of Planning
How's this for a bedroom? Between five and six cells will be merged into one flat. Credit: ITV News

Shepton Mallet Prison has a long and varied history. It was the country's oldest working prison when it closed, dating back to 1610, and several of the buildings are Grade Two listed.

The Magna Carta and the Doomsday Book are said to have been stored there for safekeeping in the Second World War, the Kray twins spent time locked up in the cells, and there's even an execution chamber where American soldiers were hanged for murder when it was a US military prison in the 1940s.

Secure accommodation: a view inside the jail Credit: ITV News West Country

There has been some concern in the town that heritage could be lost.

The developers are promising to set aside a handful of cells as a visitor attraction with museum space and a cafe.

Watch the full report from our reporter Bob Cruwys on development plans for the former prison.


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