Ruthin Gaol – 304/365

Do you remember the BBQ fundraiser we went to, back in summer? It was the post “BBQ Fund Raiser” back on day 237, well at that fund raising event Livvy won a prize in the raffle! The prize, a trip to Ruthin Gaol, and today that’s where we went.

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Can you imagine the things that camera has seen!! I took this shot from this angle, to get the sign in shot, and also provide some mystery about what or who the camera was pointing at.

Anyway, Its a jail that was used in victorian times, this is an exerpt from the official website, which you can find linked below.

Ruthin gaol is the only purpose-built Pentonville style prison open to the public as a heritage attraction. People can spend time exploring its nooks and crannies and learn about life in the Victorian prison system. See how the prisoners lived their daily lives: what they ate, how they worked, and the punishments they suffered. Explore the cells including the punishment, ‘dark’ and condemned cell. Find out about the Welsh Houdini and William Hughes who was the last man to be hanged there.

Ruthin Gaol Link
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It was a really intersting little trip, and it gave rise to some interesting photography. It was fairly dark, so I had to push the ISO up as high as 800 at times, but I guess thats to be exected from a jail!

The photograph above is looking through the spy hole in a cell door.

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It was really interesting reading all the captions and stories about how life was for the prisoners. They had some things for the kids to get stuck into too, and it felt fitting to be there on Halloween!

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I really like this image, I noticed shadows of peoples feet from above, whilst looking around some of the lower corridors. It felt really ominous, and like I was a prisoner litterly getting down trodden!

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Most of the crimes involved theft, and shoes seemed partuculary high on the hit list of things to steal, and get caught for stealing. I’m not sure why, but I guess back then a pair of Nike Air Max carried even more prestige than they do now?

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Interestingly, towards the end there was a cell kitted out in a modern fashon, and even Izzy went straight in and started to pretend to make a cup of tea, next I guess she’d have put the telly on and chilled out. Times certainly were different.

Learnings – some super intresting stuff to photograph today, and after the visit we went and had lunch at the sweetest Cafe ever, where they had free cup cakes for the children to decorate, and a bag of sweets to take away when they left. Thats just what Ruthin is like, lovely.

Technically, I struggled a bit with the low light, and with my 50mm wide open at f/1.8 it helped, but not an idea focal length in a cramped prison building. I spent a lot of time pushed up as much as I could to prison walls, to get enough distance in. Still, I’m pleased with the shots and we had a really nice day out, which is what its all about when it comes down to it.


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