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HM Prison Barlinnie

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HM Prison Barlinnie,
HM Prison Barlinnie
© Chris Upson

HM Prison Barlinnie (81 Lee Avenue, Riddrie, Glasgow, G33 2QX)is a large prison generally housing male offenders, those on remand, and those convicted and serving less than 4 years. It also holds offenders serving life sentences when approaching a potential release date. It has been used to hold prisoners from all over Scotland in response to a new building programme within the Scottish Prison Service (SPS).[1]

Locally and colloquially Barlinnie is known as the 'Bar-L'.


  • 1879 Purchase of land
  • 1882 A Hall commissioned
  • 1883 B Hall commissioned
  • 1887 C Hall commissioned and old gate completed
  • 1888 House for chaplain and doctor built outside gate
  • 1890 Link corridor A, B, C halls were built
  • 1892 D Hall commissioned
  • 1893 Chapel completed and perimeter extended to build E Hall
  • 1896 E Hall completed
  • 1908 Old sheds built with alterations to E Hall
  • 1933 Alterations to D hall and new office block built adjacent to gate
  • 1939 Gymnasium and (old) library built
  • 1949 Handicraft workshop built
  • 1951 Dining halls built
  • 1954 Old visits room completed
  • 1955 Female block built (closure of Duke St)
  • 1960 Reception area reconstructed and VT introduced
  • 1968 New sheds complete
  • 1972 Special Unit in female block (until 1994)
  • 1983 Segregation Unit completed
  • 1989 Observation bridges built


  • Average numbers in custody for 2013/2014 – 1,305
  • Average 8,000 prisoner admissions per annum
  • Average 4,500 liberations per annum
  • Average 45,000 prisoner movements to courts, transfers etc.
  • Average 3,600 prisoner visits per month
  • 6,326 prisoner visitors per month
  • 1,143 legal agents visits per month

Capital Punishment

A total of 10 judicial executions by hanging took place at HMP Barlinnie between 1947 and 1960, replacing the gallows at Duke Street Prison before the final abolition of Capital Punishment in the UK for murder in 1969.

Each of the condemned men had been convicted of murder. All executions took place at 8:00 am. As was the custom, the remains of all executed prisoners were the property of the state, and were therefore buried in unmarked graves within the walls of the prison. During the D hall renovations of 1997, the prison gallows cell (built into D Hall) was finally demolished and the remains of all the executed prisoners were exhumed for reburial elsewhere.

DateNameAge (years)Executioner
08 February 1946John Lyon21Thomas Pierrepoint
06 April 1946Patrick Carraher39Thomas Pierrepoint
10 August 1946John Caldwell20Albert Pierrepoint
30 October 1950Christopher Harris28Albert Pierrepoint
16 December 1950James Robertson33Albert Pierrepoint
12 April 1952James Smith22Albert Pierrepoint
29 May 1952Patrick Gallagher Deveney42Albert Pierrepoint
26 January 1953George Francis Shaw25Albert Pierrepoint
11 July 1958Peter Manuel31Harry Allen
22 December 1960Anthony Miller19Harry Allen


1 HMP Barlinnie Retrieved 13 March 2017.

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