c1880 Victorian Photographs Life Portland Prison


A fascinating set of 9 high quality Victorian photographs capturing life in Portland Prison, circa 1880.

The content of the photographs vary, but generally they show the convicts labouring in the workshops and quarries of Portland Prison. Other photographs show the daily courtyard inspections and drills.

Portland Prison was opened in 1848 as a penal settlement to assist in the construction of Portland Breakwater, amongst other things. Situated on an island 5 miles south of Weymouth, the treacherous conditions made it near impossible to attract a workforce of freemen large enough to carry out the tasks.

The guards are clad in Victorian uniform. Indeed some of the photographs are clear enough to see the Victorian Crown on their caps.

The condition and clarity of the photographs is very good, though one has a diagonal crease about halfway down.

Size: 11.5 x 9.5ins and 6 x 8ins