Ancestry UK

Lowdham Grange Borstal, Lowdham, Nottinghamshire

The first three permanent Borstal Institutions (at Borstal, Feltham and Portland) were conversions of existing premises. In 1929, the Prison Commission initiated plans for the first purpose-built borstal with the purchase of a 340-acre site at Lowdham Grange on Lambley Lane (now Road), Lowdham, near Nottingham. The new establishment was to be the first 'open' borstal, that is one not enclosed by high walls.

In May 1930, a party of forty boys from Feltham, led by Major William Llewellin, marched 132 miles to Lowdham Grange and during that summer lived in tents while they constructed temporary wooden huts. Over the next decade, permanent buildings were erected comprising four 60-bed dormitory houses, all connected by a covered walkway; a reception and discharge unit; and a central administration block which containing classrooms, kitchen and stores. The first house, completed in 1933, was formally opened the following year. Later additions included workshops and farm buildings, with construction completed in the late 1940s.

Lowdham Grange Borstal site, Nottinghamshire, c.1939. © Peter Higginbotham

Lowdham Grange Borstal, Nottinghamshire, 1940s. © Peter Higginbotham

Lowdham Grange Borstal workshop, Nottinghamshire, 1940s. © Peter Higginbotham

Lowdham Grange Borstal farmyard, Nottinghamshire, 1940s. © Peter Higginbotham

Lowdham Grange Borstal physical training, Nottinghamshire, 1940s. © Peter Higginbotham

The borstal closed in 1982. The buildings were subsequently demolished and Lowdham Grange Prison erected on the site.


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  • No individual records identified for this establishment — any information welcome.


  • None identified at present.