Mark Stevens, County Archivist at the Berkshire Record Office, whose excellent talk on Broadmoor fascinated us in Spring 2016, is back with us again. This time he will be talking about a very different prison, HM Prison Reading, perhaps better known by its former name as Reading Gaol.
In his talk Mark will explore the history of the prison from Georgian times as the old county gaol, its rebuilding and ‘modernisation’ in 1844, through the harsh regimes of the Victorian era, to the present day. He will talk about its most famous resident, Oscar Wilde, and the many more humble men and women who were incarcerated there. We will learn about the hangings that took place, usually on a Saturday-lunchtime, and Reading’s little known role in the Easter Uprising.