Friday 10 December 2021

The Dark Side of Bodmin Jail

I was, perchance, searching for a certain something about Bodmin when I came across the website of the Bodmin Jail Hotel. Strewth, I thought, it looks somewhat different to when I last visited the jail several years ago.

I remember walking around the actual cells, with just my wife for company. I only took a few photos as on this post. It was all very creepy.

The Jail was built way back in the reign of George III in 1777. So has lots of tales to tell.

It is said that over fifty prisoners were executed - hanged in other words. The final awful deed was carried out in 1909.

Women were also hanged, like Sarah Polgrean, in the early 1800s. She is said to have murdered her husband. At the time the judge also sentenced her to dissection - for the furtherance of the medical profession.

With such horrors, it is no wonder the ghosts walk in Bodmin Jail. Also see Bodmin Jail and a Hanging Watched by 25,000 People

The final hanging, in Bodmin Jail, was in 1909.

Though not very clear to read, the following is a record of some of the prisoners hanged. For example, in the second column from the right, details are entered describing the prisoner's neck i.e. strong neck, muscular neck etc.

A final look at the exterior of Bodmin Jail

I sort of think that it's best not to dwell too much on such photos and themes. I tend to believe that what we focus on becomes part of us. So, here's a typical Cornwall south coast scene to finish the post - a cleanser, if you like.  There is so much beauty and goodness in the world on which to dwell - that is if we have time to stand and stare.

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare

William Henry Davies 

Thanks for visiting my blog, hope you have a happy week. All good wishes ~ Mike.


  1. A very foreboding place and your photo's really convey the sadness and horrors that have occured here. B & W was a good choice to portray the atmosphere.
    Not sure if places can be "haunted" or whether ghosts are a reality, but I did once have a disturbing experience in a telephone exchange which was very real to me.
    Interesting post Mike, take care. 😯

  2. It was interesting to walk through the old cells and so on. Conditions must have been terible for the prisoners. Like you I'm not sure about ghosts etc - but my wife and I have had a couple of strange moments after someone died.Enjoy the new week.

  3. Interesting history although one fraught with plenty of misery within those walls! Let’s hope that we have learned something along the way. A great choice for black and white for sure! I like the poem and it’s a good reminder that we should always look for the good in life at present.

  4. Hello, thank you Ann. I suppose we have learned a few lessons though the years, at least I hope so - though there is still so much misery.
    All good wishes, hope the newest Covid variant, Omicron, isn't causing too many restrictions in the US.

  5. Hello Mike, very creepy pictures indeed of Bodmin jail. The book with the neck descriptions is particularly chilling! My Monsieur used to darkly joke that he wanted to get married at Bodmin Jail :0 How different it looks today with the luxury hotel. I enjoyed the poem. Lulu x

  6. Thanks Lulu, a confined period in the jail must have been horrific for the inmates. As for getting married in the jail, it would certainly be very different! Have a good week.




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