Posts Tagged ‘jog scotland’

Refurbishment Closes Inveraray Jail for First Time in 21 Years

Monday, December 20th, 2010

From Tuesday 4th to Saturday 15th January 2011, the  Jail will close its doors to the public as improvements are made to the building.  This will be the first time the 19th century courthouse and prison has closed for more than one day since it re-opened as a visitor attraction 21 years ago in 1989.

The renovation includes a complete overhaul of the Inveraray Jail gift shop, customer toilets and essential maintenance in the main thoroughfares of the prisons .

We are looking forward to seeing our new and improved customer facilities.  As a privately run business, the maintenance and upkeep of the historic building is 100% our responsibility.  We are passionate about keeping this part of Argyll history in tip top condition whilst ensuring the best facilities and experience for our visitors.  We’re sorry for any inconvenience our short term closure may cause in the meantime.

For details of our opening times over the Festive period, please visit our website.  We will re-open on Saturday 15th January 2011 at 10am.


Showtime for Burke and Hare at Inveraray Jail

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

The life and death masks of famous 19th century serial killers, William Burke & William Hare, are now on show at Scotland’s spookiest prison Inveraray Jail, in time for Halloween weekend.   The two plaster head masks, along with a hangman’s noose, were discovered at the jail last year following the clear out of an old store room. However, how they got there and why still remains a mystery. The new addition to the visitor attraction and museum’s exhibition comes as Hollywood film Burke & Hare, starring Simon Pegg and Isla Fisher, hits UK cinemas on Friday 29th October.

The Life Mask and Death Mask of Burke

Burke & Hare are said to have murdered at least 16 people, possibly up to 30, in Scotland’s capital city of Edinburgh. The infamous criminal pair sold the corpses of their innocent victims to anatomy professor and lecturer at the University of Edinburgh, Dr Robert Knox, who used them for dissection and research. Their chilling crimes in the gothic city ended 181 years ago when Burke was found guilty and publicly executed. Hare escaped the hangman after giving evidence against his partner in crime.

The story of how the two heads and the hangman’s noose ended up at Inveraray Jail, in the west of Scotland, remains unexplained since neither Burke nor Hare were ever held at the prison.  A life mask is thought to have been made of Hare during the trial whilst Burke’s shaven head was cast following his public hanging. A handful of masks are known to exist with one in the USA, Swansea and St Andrews and Edinburgh Universities.

Inveraray Jail, Argyll

Unfortunately, we have never been able to find out how they came to be here at the jail. It may be due to the new ‘science’ called phrenology which was popular at that time. It was believed the shape and contours of a person’s head could dictate their personality and ‘experts’ held talks across the country using casts of the heads of infamous criminals to illustrate their point.

With the increased awareness of Burke & Hare generated from the release of the new movie this weekend, it is a very relevant time to finally put them on display.   We are looking forward to sharing the fascinating artefacts with our visitors this weekend and plan to keep them on display going forward.

What was that?!

With its gruesome history and haunting tales, Inveraray Jail is getting into the Halloween spirit this weekend. Two late night ghost hunts, which are now fully booked, are taking place on Saturday and Sunday night. Unexplained sightings and unusual activity recorded by visitors, staff and paranormal investigators suggest that the establishment is haunted. Meanwhile, the jail’s real life characters are ready to share with visitors how prisoners were treated in the 19th century. 6000 men, women and children were tried and served sentences in the jail between 1820 and 1889. The jail also features in popular TV programme Most Haunted Series 13, which was released on DVD last week.

Inveraray Jail Break Race: First Place Females Dominate 6.5km Race Records

Monday, May 10th, 2010

Raring to go?!

On Sunday 9th May 2010, keen runners fled from prison as the Inveraray Jail Break race returned to Argyll for a second year.  First place male category winners failed to beat last year’s records whilst all three first place female category winners beat the records.

The warder rings the escape bell!

Thirty-four runners from near and far set off from Inveraray Jail at 11am to the clang of the warder’s escape bell.  The race continued up some 250 metres high to Dun na Cuaiche, the watch tower above Inveraray.  The runners thinned out as the steep climb took hold and by the time the summit was reached the result was decided as Philip Price reached the top ahead of all others.

The going gets tough!

Runners completed the circular route down at the finishing line in the grounds of Inveraray Castle.

The event was part of this year’s Inveraray Bluebell Festival, an exciting month long programme of cultural events taking place in the Inveraray area by Loch Fyne.

Winning categories included first male and first female junior, senior and veteran.  The overall fastest time recorded was an impressive 29 minutes and six seconds from first male senior Philip Price.  The fastest female time was 32 minutes 34 seconds, from first female senior winner, Emma O’Shea.

2010 – this year’s first place winners:

  • First male junior – David McAlister – 31:22
  • First male senior – Philip Price – 29:06
  • First male veteran – Alan Smith – 29:55
  • First female junior – Freya Corner – 40:07 – (RECORD)
  • First female senior – Emma O’Shea – 32.34 – (RECORD)
  • First female veteran – Dinah Bosomworth – 37:20 (RECORD)

All the Winners

2009 – last year’s first place winners:

  • First male junior – Paul Cameron – 28:54
  • First male senior – Nick Emsley – 28:46
  • First male veteran – Paul Thompson – 29:14
  • First female junior – Naomi Sturrock – 44:14
  • First female senior – Naomi Dixon – 41:02
  • First female veteran – Fiona Corner – 38:59

Participants each received a free Inveraray Jail T-shirt and there were trophies, medals and prizes for category winners.  The race catered for a range of running enthusiasts.