HM Prison Kingston

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HMP Kingston
Main entrance to HMP Kingston - - 853389.jpg
Entrance to HM Prison Kingston
Location Portsmouth, Hampshire
Status Closed
Security class Adult Male/Category B&C
Opened 1877
Closed 2013

HM Prison Kingston is a former Category B/C men's prison, located in the Kingston area of Portsmouth, in Hampshire, England. Prior to closure, the prison was operated by Her Majesty's Prison Service.


Kingston Prison was originally built in 1877 as a Victorian radial design prison. Kingston has had a varied history. At one point the building was used for a boys' borstal, and then became a police station during World War II.

In 1965 capital punishment for murder was abolished in Britain and, as a result, Kingston began exclusively to hold inmates serving life sentences. Kingston became the only prison in England and Wales to have a unit exclusively for elderly male prisoners serving life sentences. In April 2003 a report from Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons stated that the elderly prisoner unit at Kingston provided unacceptable conditions for its inmates. The report detailed that movement in the unit was severely restricted, there was insufficient privacy and the rooms had too little natural light, poor ventilation and in some cases no power points.[1]

Soon afterwards Kingston was redesignated as a more general category B and C prison, the elderly prisoner unit moving to HMP Norwich. From April 2012 Kingston became mainly a Category C prison, holding a high percentage of inmates serving life sentences.

On 10 January 2013 it was announced that Kingston Prison would close "in the next few months", as part of a wider prisons closure programme established by the Ministry of Justice.[2] The prison formally closed on 28 March 2013.[3] The former prison site was put up for sale, though there was a campaign to retain the site for use by the local community.[4] On 24 December 2014 it was announced that Kingston Prison along with Dorchester Prison, Gloucester Prison and Shepton Mallet Prison had been sold to City and Country. There will be a community consultation on the development of all the sites, with plans including mixed-used schemes of assisted living units alongside retail and social amenity areas.[5]

Notable former inmates[edit]


  1. ^ [1][dead link]
  2. ^ "Seven prison closures in England announced". BBC News (BBC). 10 January 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2013. 
  3. ^ "BBC News - Kingston Prison Portsmouth closes gates for last time". 2013-03-28. Retrieved 2013-04-12. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "The sale of former prisons in west and south England is agreed". BBC News. 24 December 2014. 
  6. ^ "UK | Scotland | 'Mad Butler' dies in prison". BBC News. 2002-10-31. Retrieved 2013-04-12. 
  7. ^ "UK | Nazi war criminal dies in Britain". BBC News. 2005-11-07. Retrieved 2013-04-12. 
  8. ^ "UK | Long wait for justice". BBC News. Retrieved 2013-04-12. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 50°48′13″N 1°03′56″W / 50.8035°N 1.0656°W / 50.8035; -1.0656