Spend the Night in a (Former) Prison
The old Bridewell Prison in Liverpool, listed as a Grade II building, is being refurbished and transformed into a luxury hotel full of rich history. The Bridewell Prison used to house inmates for short sentences and before court appearances during the mid 1800s up until its close in 1997.
The prison was under construction from 1857 – 1859. The work was done by Corporation Surveyor John Wightman. The original plan for this Corporation of Liverpool building was use as a police station and a courts complex. Instead it became home to people being detained for petty crimes. This prison was a secure fortress. There is still a plaque on the wall from when the prison was in operation,
“Please do not ask for bail because a refusal often offends.”
When the Bridewell Prison was operational it had between 60-90 cells. These cells were a mere 7x7ft. The cell was enclosed by 3ft thick brick walls and sealed off by a hefty wooden door, both slathered in lead paint. Prisoners slept on a small wooden bench that housed a toilet at one end.
These cells once spanned across four floors in a quadrangle of inmate housing. Now they are looking sleek and chic, given their modern upgrade. The lead paint has been stripped from the walls and doors. They’ve worked to expose the original and traditional brick and iron structure of the building. The gorgeous architectural elements complement what they’ve done with the exercise yard. The open area has been transformed into an glass-domed, indoor lounge space
The former cells have been refurbished into an 85-suite hotel with high-tech and luxurious amenities, as well as some unique and exclusive features. The Victorian style architecture will be restored to its former glory. Each suite comes with an LED Smart TV, an ultra-indulgent bathroom, and some artwork made by ex-cons who’ve reached celebrity status. It’s been said that there are tunnels that run beneath Bridewell Prison. Though they are most likely closed off, they are said to have led to the St. George’s Hall courts as well as the docks.
The people behind Bridewell want to create a hotel that meets the needs of both busy business professionals and weekend travelers. Bridewell offers fast and free Wi-Fi and space-efficient suites in a central location. The transformation and development of Bridewell is a project being undertaken by staycentral.com. Stay Central is a new hotel chain based in Liverpool. Operations Director Lee Darwen said,
“The walls are super thick with layers of original British bond brick and the doors are solid oak, so there is no danger of woken by noisy neighbors. [Bridewell] fits with the ethos of the modern micro-hotel concept which staycentral.com will roll out nationwide in the coming years.”
The historical hotel is set to open this Spring, and is looking forward to welcoming future guests. Bridewell will be home to weekend music, parties and social events, as well as a place for business and networking meetings. For more about the luxe hotel in Liverpool, check out the Stay Central Facebook page. Follow them for future updates. You can also visit the website to sign up for the Stay Central newsletter. Daily Mail covers this story here. Have you ever stayed in a remodeled hotel? What was it before you stayed? Would you stay in a former prison? Let us know in the comments down below.
Photo Credits: dailymail.co.uk, facebook.com
How would you feel about inmate artwork? How would you rate the Stay Central Bridewell?