Ancestry UK

Dover Prison / Borstal, Dover, Kent

In 1952, the Citadel, part of of the large complex of Victorian fortifications in an area known as the Western Heights, at the west of Dover, was taken over by the Prison Service for conversion into a regional prison. Dover Prison, which opened the following year, was 'a prison of medium security for corrective training prisoners and for certain selected prisoners of the Ordinary class.'

Dover Citadel site from the west.

In 1957, the prison was converted into a closed Borstal Institution, then evolved into a Young Offenders' Institution in the 1980s.

In 2002, the premises became an Immigration Removal Centre, which it remained until 2015. The site was put up for sale in 2018.


Note: many repositories impose a closure period of up to 100 years for records identifying individuals. Before travelling a long distance, always check that the records you want to consult will be available.


  • Prison Oracle - resources those involved in present-day UK prisons.
  • GOV.UK - UK Government's information on sentencing, probation and support for families.