No bodies of executed remain at old Shrewsbury prison

Shrewsbury | News | Published:

No bodies are understood to remain at the site of Shrewsbury's former Dana prison, the Ministry of Justice has indicated.

The current prison building dates back to the 19th century

The Ministry of Justice had said last year shortly before the prison closed its doors that it was believed 10 bodies of executed prisoners were on the site.

But it has now been revealed that the 10 bodies referred to in their records were actually exhumed in 1972, with the remains cremated and ashes scattered at a local crematorium.

It had been feared the cost of exhuming the remains of prisoners could affect redevelopment plans for the site.

More than £500,000 was spent on exhuming bodies from Oxford Prison when that site was turned into a luxury hotel in 2005.

The project had initially been earmarked to cost about £250,000, but ended up doubling after more remains than expected were found.

A total of 76 bodies were eventually found at the Oxford site.

It comes as it was revealed Shrewsbury's former prison has been put up for sale on the open market by the Ministry of Justice.

English Heritage is also in the process of carrying out a detailed study of the former prison to help find a suitable new use for the now derelict building.


Dozens of criminals were executed at Shrewsbury Prison, which dates back more than 200 years.

The last executed prisoner to be buried there was in 1961.

The prison closed in spring last year as part of a Government programme to shut ageing and expensive jails, with more than 200 staff either taking redundancy or moving to other prisons in the region.

The prison building and grounds, which cover a 2.5 hectare site, were advertised for sale in Estate Gazette earlier this month.

No details of the asking price for the site have been revealed.

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