Award-winning UK attraction forced to close after just 6 years | The Sun

Award-winning UK attraction forced to close after just 6 years | The Sun


A UK attraction has left Brits 'devastated' after announcing its closure after six years.

Shepton Mallet Prison dates back 400 years, with the first prisoners back in 1625, the last being in 2013.

Famous ex-prisoners included the Kray Twins, and it was even used to film the David Tennant TV drama Des.

It then opened as a tourist attraction in 2017, with tours and overnight stays in what was dubbed the "most haunted jail".

It was awarded the Trip Advisor Traveller’s Choice Award in 2020, and was ranked in the top 10 per cent of attractions worldwide on the site.

However, the prison is going to close to the public from January 2, 2024 due to a "breakdown with the owners".

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A statement reads: "We are deeply saddened to share that Shepton Mallet Prison is scheduled to close on 2nd January 2024.

"This heartbreaking decision comes after years of dedication to preserving this historic site."

Joel Campbell, CEO of the Cove Group who operates the prison said it was "devasting" that they had to close.

They explained: "Over the past seven years we have invested over £1m into Shepton Mallet Prison, and despite a relentless campaign of perseverance, our endeavours to safeguard and enhance this historical site have been met with a disheartening lack of support from City & Country.

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"We offered to buy it off them for close to £1m and their counter-offer was miles away.

"Shepton Mallet is a small market town and we are major part of the tourism in the town."

However, City & Country said the current lease saw them only pay insurance, not rent for the prison.

They added: "City & Country have not taken action to terminate the lease for failing to implement the insurer's requirements, however we have made it known that this is a course we may be forced to take due to their failure to comply with their lease obligations."

People have been left gutted by the news with locals fearing it will affect tourism.

One person said: "This is so incredibly upsetting to read."

Another said: "Absolutely gutted, have loved visiting over the years you've been open."

A third wrote: "Devastating news. Such a good local, historical attraction."

Shepton Mallet Prison launched overnight stays back in 2020.

Starting from £49, prisoners would be offered a 'real' experience with beds in the cells and bland porridge for breakfast,

The Sun recently experienced the haunted overnight stays – and were left terrified.

It's not the only prison that has been converted into an attraction.

Back in 2020, Bodmin Jail was transformed into a hotel, with the cells becoming the main bedrooms.

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And a tiny island in Europe which was once a prison has been transformed into a luxury hotel, with rooftop pool and private beach.

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