Last days of Duke Street (Print 2427123)
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The city's Duke Street Prison (also known as Bridewell or the Northern Prison) was long a landmark in Townhead. This picture, taken in 1959. shows one of the old prison halls shortly before the building was demolished.
Between its first prisoners arriving in 1798 and 1872, various improvements were made to the structure but not to the terrible living conditions which were mentioned in the old street song sung to the tune of 'There is a Happy Land'.
- There is a happy land,
- doon Duke Street Jail,
- Where a' the prisoners stand,
- tied tae a nail.
- Ham an' eggs they never see,
- dirty watter fur yer tea;
- there they live in misery
- God Save the Queen!
After the transfer of responsibility to the state from local authorities, HM Prison Barlinnie was built in the Eastern suburbs of the city in 1882 in order to take over from 'Bridewell' which eventually remained open as a women's prison until 1955.
Today, the site is occupied by flats.
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