The 234 foot high, minaret-like, chimney of Strangeways Prison is a prominent feature of the north Manchester skyline  The prison was built on the site of the Strangeways Park and Gardens adopting the name.  The architect was Alfred Waterhouse who went on to design the Manchester Town Hall and the wonderful Natural History Museum in South Kensington.  The prison was built in a radial design with wings ranging out from a dodecagonal central hall accommodating 1000 prisoners. 

You can see it in 1949, numbered 1, in the image below.

It has two imposing gatehouses.  As the plaque near the entrance commemorates the prison opened on June 25, 1868

In April of 1990 a riot broke out at Strangeways.  47 prisoners and 147 members of staff were injured and 1 prisoner died in the riot and some of the buildings were virtually destroyed.  The disturbance spawned a number of disruptions in other prisons around the country.  Following the riot the prison was rebuilt

The prison web site says this of the establishment:  "Manchester prison, formerly known as Strangeways, is a local prison which accepts people remanded into custody from the courts in the Greater Manchester area. The prison opened in June 1868. in 1963 it was decided that the prison would no longer hold women prisoners, and in 1980 it began to accept remand prisoners.

Following a major disturbance in 1990, the prison was re-built, and the running and management of the prison was put out to tender. The Prison Service won the contract and re-opened the prison in 1994. The prison was again put out to tender and the Prison Service won the contract again in 2001. In early 2003 HMP Manchester became part of the High Security Estate."

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