Bodmin Jail is a unique heritage asset, which had been allowed to decay until the Wheten family bought the site in the summer of 2004. They invested all the revenue back into the jail with a ten year plan to revive this infamous jail by replacing roofs, internal structures and showing the cells as they once were, whilst also incorporating a museum of Cornishlife over the last three centuries. Ownership changed in 2009 to Keith Baker, a local businessman who plans to continue with the investment strategy.
The jail dates back to the mid 16th century and certainly has had a checkered past. The last hanging was held there in 1909 before closing its doors to prisoners in 1927. In the late 1940's it reopened as a night club, and during the 2nd World War was also home to the Crown Jewels for a night. When the Wheten family reopened its doors to the public it, was as a family day out including a museum, restaurant and gallows, which is the only working example of a Victorian execution shed and gallows in Britain and is said to have a high level of paranormal activity!
One of the challenges in reviving an historical site has been to retain its character and at the same time bring it up to present day standards as a tourist attraction. Gary Ewart of WEB Fabrications Huddersfield is linked with the site as one of the UK’s leading experts on execution techniques, i.e. hangings and previously supplied a new set of gates using wrought iron components from Brundles, so when it came to choosing the stainless steel railing, there was really only one choice.
Pro-Railing stainless steel hand railing was chosen for its versatility and value for money. The client wanted to keep the restaurant setting as open as possible with Pro-Clamp glass clamps providing the ideal solution for glass infill panels to be used. The flexibility of the 1000 plus components ensured that all the onsite requirements could be met from within the range, giving minimum disruption during installation.
Gary Ewart quotes: “You can always trust Brundles to have a quality product that’s value for money. We use them all the time for a range of products and would have no doubt about using Pro-Railing again.”