Publisher: W. Ritchie & Sons (“Reliable series”), 1902-28
Construction of Leeds Prison (originally named Leeds Borough Gaol) was completed in 1847. Built from locally quarried stone, the prison originally had four wings radiating from a central point in a Victorian architectural style (known as ‘radial’) typical of the time. Each of these four wings had three landings of cells. Eventually Armley Gaol was renamed along with other prisons to make their locations more obvious to people unfamiliar with these areas.
Leeds Borough Gaol was completed in 1847 and originally it housed both male and female prisoners. Lilian Ida Lenton (1891 – 1972) was probably the most well-known female prisoner. She was an English Dancer, Suffragist and winner of a French Red Cross Medal for her service as an Orderly in World War I.
comment Mark’s History: The suffragist and dancer imprisoned in Armley’s jail
Armley prison opened in Leeds in the West Riding of Yorkshire in 1847 and was constructed on the then modern penitentiary principal with four radial wings. It was a grim and forbidding building in line with the Victorian ideas of prison and was responsible for housing prisoners sentenced in the West Riding of Yorkshire. It also took over duty of carrying out West Riding executions from York Castle. Ninety three men and one woman were to suffer the death penalty at Armley between 1864 and 1961. An average of almost exactly one per annum.
Capital Punishment U.K.
The grim and forbidding facade of the notorious Victorian jail has dominated the skyline of the proud town of Armley for over 160-years. Its presence spreads an air of notoriety through a town which across the years has grittily got on with its business and has a proud and fascinating industrial history with its clanking mills and bustling factories.
Yorkshire Magazine: Armley Jail– A history of the town and prison”