Convict Prisons

The term 'convict prison' came into use in the nineteenth century to refer to gaols that were run by the government, as opposed to those that were locally run. The first convict prison was Millbank, located in the City of Westminster and opened in 1816. It was followed in 1838 by Parkhurst, on the Isle of Wight, originally usd a a special prison for juvenile offenders. Pentonville, built as a 'model prison' opened 1842. A list of convict prisons is given on a separate page.

The inmates of convict prisons — convicts — were those who would previously have been sentenced to transportation. Inmates of local prisons were referred to as prisoners.


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