When thinking of Oxford, it’s usual to think of Matthew Arnold’s “dreaming spires”, the old University Colleges, the meadows and the medieval streets. Prisons don’t spring to mind. However, until the mid-1990s, Oxford had an operating prison right in its centre. Moreover, in it’s heyday it had been a fearful 18th century and Victorian prison, where prisoners were locked up in cramped conditions, given hard labour and kept in tiny cells.
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