Visiting the Old New-Gate Prison


Last weekend Dan and I visited East Granby and the Old New-Gate Prison. It's a very interesting place. In the 1700s, the colonists discovered copper in the area and began to mine. In the latter part of the century, they decided to build a prison and work prisoners in the mine to offset the cost of the penial system. Besides mining for copper, prisoners manufactured nails and shoes as well. Only ruins of the prison stand, but the stories remain to be told.

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Dan had visited the site many years ago as a kid, and we've talked about going to the prison for a while. When we arrived we were "assigned" prisoner numbers (to prove that we paid our admission). We walked around the prison grounds, read the plaques, and watched a little video with tales from the mine. Then we descended into the mine, a cold and very wet experience. The loop brought us to solitary confinement (which was too cramped for me to explore- I'm a little claustrophobic) and the lodging area. Yes, the prisoners used to sleep in the mine before the above-ground cells were constructed.

After leaving the prison, we had lunch at Bittersweet Bakery. It was really good! Dan and I had sandwiches and we split some chips. Unfortunately we were too full to try a selection of pastries, including the Monster Eclair. We'll have to go back there sometime just for that.

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