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Pupils get inside story at Crumlin Road Gaol

The tough conditions of a Victorian jail have been brought to life for a group of Belfast schoolchildren.

Pupils from Currie Primary School, taking part in a living history educational tour at the Crumlin Road Gaol, were not impressed by the gruel on offer.

Little Tia McClean was startled when she encountered feared truncheon wielding warder Roy Snodden at the historic north Belfast site, while stern faced prison matron Noreen Kavanagh was keeping a check on everybody by candlelight, including prisoner Laura Rogan who looked down in the dumps taking part in her daily chores in the clink.

Last night, Joanna Quinn from the Gaol told the Belfast Telegraph the children from Currie Primary thoroughly enjoyed their "Day in the Life of a Victorian Child Prisoner" experience.

"It has been specifically designed for Key Stage Two and takes children on a journey back in time, reliving the sights and sounds of child prisoners who entered the Gaol over one hundred and twenty years ago," she said.

The Crumlin Road Gaol dates back to 1845. It closed its doors as a working prison in 1996, but after extensive renovations re-opened to the public. General tours cover all aspects of the Gaol, from the courthouse tunnel to the hanging cell, the holding cells, governors office, hospital and graveyard.

Belfast Telegraph