As with the daytime guided tours, the Lights Out Tour is led by a guide with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the prison’s history and working the night shift in a prison.
Prisons at night have a very different feel – the staff numbers are massively reduced and prisoners are locked in their cells. It can be a dangerous time with sentiments running high and takes a different set of skills to manage emotive situations. Staff were locked on the wing and only allowed to open a prisoner’s cell in dire, life or death, circumstances.
Your tour guide will lead you on a no holds barred tour shining a light on the raw, gritty and graphic scenes that took place after hours.
As with the guided tour you will navigate the Victorian prison taking in:
The Old Gate Lodge and Governor’s Office where you will hear about the role they played as the night shift began and the handing over of the keys and responsibility of the prison to the principal officer.
B Wing encompasses three floors with a capacity for 94 prisoners in later years. You will learn about the adjoining Segregation unit where the prisoners deemed as a risk to themselves were placed along with the vital role the listeners played.Book Now
Running parallel with B Wing is A Wing where you will discover why some officers refused to do a night shift on this wing.
The Execution Room will be one of the final stops on your tour where you’ll hear about the many hangings in Shepton Mallet Prison and why some staff doing their filing might avoid the lower room beneath the trapdoor…
This tour delivers a true reality of working within a prison at night and what happens behind the closed doors. It has hard hitting tales of some of the darkest times behind the high prison walls and is not for the faint of heart. Lights Out Tours run every Wednesday evening and should be booked in advance due to the high demand.Book Now