Haunted Beaumaris Gaol – reported by the North Wales Chronicle
TWO reputedly haunted Anglesey attractions have more than a ghost of a chance to help boost island visitor numbers and the local economy.
Paranormal evenings and ghost hunts are just some of the events at the Beaumaris Gaol and Courthouse.
The disused Victorian prison and 17th century court house are run as museums to the the island’s criminal justice and penal systems.
Although the final transfer is imminently being completed, Beaumaris Town Council has taken over the day to day running of the attractions from Anglesey County Council.
Since opening on May 1, the town council has introduced a new team of volunteers and paid staff.
The gaol now has a prison governor, aka volunteer Roger Vincent, dressed in authentic Victorian costume.
Roger, who cuts a striking figure, patrolling the prison’s dimly lit corridors in an authentic frock-coat and top hat, helps explain the building’s dark history and its ghostly tales.
The gaol, built in 1829, was closed in 1878. Only two hangings took place at the building; William Griffith, in 1830, and Richard Rowlands in 1862, although the courthouse saw many people sentenced to death or transportation, or punishment in the gaol.
Project officer Nick Baguley said: “We want to keep the gaol and courthouse as authentic as possible.We are the guardians of these historic buildings and want to breathe new life into them.
“If more people visit, it not only helps keep these historic buildings safe for future generations, but also helps boost the local economy, bringing more people into Beaumaris and Anglesey.”
“We’ve got lots of ideas, such as historical re-enactments, we’d like to get all the staff Victorian costumes if anyone has any to donate. We want to organise children’s activities, such Halloween events, as well as bringing int he ghost hunts and paranormal evenings.”
A paranormal event was held at the gaol last Saturday night.
Christopher Chell, of Haunted House Events Ltd, said: “Beaumaris gaol is an amazing place, it is full of spirits. Three groups took part on Saturday night.
“Some people saw things, some heard noises such as footsteps, and whistles, and one person got hissed at in a cell! It is quite an experience to be there in complete darkness.”
Other changes at the gaol include turning the gaol school room into an art exhibition space, currently featuring photographic artwork by Hannah Elin Baguley.
Beaumaris Mayor Cllr Clay Theakston said: “We are delighted as a town to have secured the future of the historic gaol and courthouse, the history of the town is incredibly important and every councillor past and present feels a duty towards preserving these sites and keeping them available for future generations.”
The gaol and courthouse is open seven days a week, from 10am-5pm, until the end of October, possibly early November.
Anyone interested in volunteering or who may have Victorian clothing to donate can call 01248 810317.
For ghost hunts see: https://www.haunted-houses.co.uk/