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An old copper mine that was transformed into a prison in 1773. It was used heavily for some time. The people who sat in its cells might still hang around, the unfinished business they left in life still lingering behind.
"In its time, New-Gate Prison saw its share of fatal "insurrections." In 1806, one involving 30 men started in the blacksmith and nail shop, and ended with the death of inmate Aaron Goomer. Another occurred in 1823, this featuring over 100 prisoners, two of whom were fatally shot by guards.
And obviously, there were failed escape attempts.
One of the most notorious escape-gone-awry stories happened in 1827, when Abel Starkey fell to his death while trying to escape by climbing up a rope that had been dangling in the well (which was accessible from down below in addition on top). No mention if the rope had been made of knotted bedsheets or not.
As with any location associated with such a dark history, New-Gate Prison has gained a reputation as a haunted spot. Over the years, there have been stories of spirits allegedly spotted roaming the grounds, as well as ethereal voices supposedly heard in the mine's tunnels."
Courtesy of damnedct.com
!8th century prisons were a bit harsher than 21st century versions. Truly, a copper mine was seen as a fit place to hide the scourges! The old copper mine was owned by a feisty tavern owner. He was convinced to become the prison warden. He was the one that decided to use the old mine tunnels as prison cells-easy peasy. The first inmate was a thief, with an 18 day stay before he escaped with the help of a lover. Plenty disappeared and were never located-several were able to simply run by the guards.
So, the prison was guarded heavily. The security improved drastically and it ushered in an era of darkness. Riots were bloody, locals and inmates called it "Hell" literally, not too far from it if you have ever been inside.
WHo was the first prisoner?
His name was John Hinson, and had done a lot of time in other county jails. He was a peddler of stolen wares, and he was good at talking his way out of things. The judge who sent him to Old Newgate said : He is sly, ornery, and cunning as a viper." On December 22, there was a huge snowstorm it was over two feet, wet and heavy. Twigs and limbs began to break off, the tavern owner was sad and miserable. So, he called down to Hinson, to talk to him for comfort and solace. Every so often he would echo down the chamber-old mine tunnel and Hinson would reply. Eventually Hinson escaped, and the jailer never knew it. "His rescuer, it turned out, was a faithful mistress who had tramped over the snow-bound hills with a 100 foot coil of rope over her shoulder, and let it down the well shaft."
The odors unbearable, the floor covered with a thick pasty slime-this truly was hell.
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