Ancestry UK

Nottingham Borstal / Sherwood Borstal, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire

In October 1932, the then disused HMP Nottingham site on Perry Road, Sherwood, was re-opened as a Borstal Institution, variously known as Nottingham Borstal and Sherwood Borstal. It was officially designated as a "closed Borstal for young men with bad records".

The Borstal gained a reputation as one of the roughest and toughest in the country. In 1948, a 21-year-old inmate named Kenneth Strickson was accused of murdering one of the Borstal's two matrons, Mrs Irene May Phillips, by hitting her over the head with a chair. Strickson was found guilty and hanged at Lincoln prison on 22 March 1949.

The Borstal was closed in 1950, subsequently resuming operation as a central prison for prisoners sentenced to preventive detention, then later resuming its use as a local prison.


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.

  • No individual records identified for this establishment — any information welcome.
  • The National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 4DU. Has a wide variety of crime and prison records going back to the 1770s, including calendars of prisoners, prison registers and criminal registers.
  • Find My Past has digitized many of the National Archives' prison records, including prisoner-of-war records, plus a variety of local records including Manchester, York and Plymouth. More information.
  • Prison-related records on Ancestry UK include Prison Commission Records, 1770-1951, and local records from London, Swansea, Gloucesterhire and West Yorkshire. More information.
  • The Genealogist also has a number of National Archives' prison records. More information.


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