Ancestry UK

Usk Borstal / Prescoed Camp, Usk, Monmouthshire, Wales

The Usk Borstal Institution opened in 1939 in the former Monmouthshire County Gaol premises on Mayport Street, Usk, which had closed in 1922.

New arrivals from Wormwood Scrubs prison enter Usk Borstal, c.1945. © Peter Higginbotham

New inmates change into their uniforms at Usk Borstal, c.1945. © Peter Higginbotham

A new inmate being shown his cell at Usk Borstal, c.1945. © Peter Higginbotham

New inmates' roll-call with house-master at Usk Borstal, c.1945. © Peter Higginbotham

Cleaning work by inmates at Usk Borstal, c.1945. © Peter Higginbotham

Well-behaved inmates were transferred to the more relaxed regime at Prescoed Camp, several miles to the south-west of Usk. There was much to-and-fro on bicycles, boys from the camp cycling out to local farms to work or back into Usk for classes, and boys from the town site cycling out to work at the camp.

Prescoed Camp, Usk Borstal, c.1945. © Peter Higginbotham

Boys doing farm work at Prescoed Camp, Usk Borstal, c.1945. © Peter Higginbotham

At Prescoed, the inmates constructed a swimming pool for the camp.

Prescoed Camp swimming pool, Usk Borstal, c.1945. © Peter Higginbotham

In 1964, the Borstal was converted to a Detention Centre. It became a Youth Custody Centre in 1983, a Young Offenders Institution in1988, and an adult prison in 1990.


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


  • None identified at present.