Oxford Tour
—Kerry B. with E. Kline

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Base of the Round Tower

[001]: Our walk-around takes as its starting and finishing point the end of Oxford Prison C-wing at the base of the Round Tower. This is the left-hand base of the Round Tower at the end of C-wing, which leads directly onto Paradise Street, Oxford. This tower base is the remains of one of the bastions of the wall of Oxford Castle.

G-wing from Paradise Street

[002]: This photo shows the left-hand base of the Round Tower looking towards G-wing as viewed from Paradise Street (!), and includes a bit of the side of the C-wing building.


[003]: The iconic image of our G-wing: a view of (almost) the whole exercise yard façade. We get a partial view of this image in Bad Girls in S1 Ep9 [27:45-27:57, composite]. It also includes the little stairway that comes down from the rise on the left hand side—where the wire mesh security fence and the gate into the exercise yard would have been in Bad Girls [see second thumbnail for close-up]. This shot is taken from what would have been the back wall of the exercise yard—although there isn't an enclosing wall there anymore. Note the familiar stairs into the exercise yard near the middle of the shot. This building, which we know as Larkhall's G-Wing, is the old A-Wing of Oxford prison and it now houses the Malmaison Oxford hotel.

[004]: G-wing from the opposite end of the exercise yard. It includes the end corner of the building with the gable-end long arched window, the interior view of which is so familiar to us. In S3 Ep10 [20:54] we get a similar view of G-wing but minus the gable-end. Of course in our photograph, the hotel guests have not seen fit to hang their washing out of the windows either!

G-wing with C-wing opposite

[005]: Another shot of the main G-Wing façade, from the other end of the exercise yard. You can see the building at the opposite end, which was the Oxford Prison C-Wing, has had some work done on the two top storeys. In a broad shot that opens the scene in S2 Ep7 [22:38], you can get a fairly good idea of how much C-Wing has changed since Bad Girls.

[006]: Looking down the side of Larkhall G-Wing towards the exercise yard stairs, and the glass link that now joins the wing to Oxford C-Wing (which is also now part of the hotel). We are standing near the base of the steps that led from the locked gate in the wire mesh security fence at the end of the Larkhall exercise yard. In S2 Ep4 [07:24] we get a very similar view of this side of G-wing—only now the bars have been removed from the windows! This photo is taken from about halfway down the pathway right next to G-wing, looking towards the exercise yard stairs. It includes the end of the C-wing building and the new glass link between it and G-wing.

In S1 Ep9 [28:01] part of the C-Wing building is visible behind Shell and Lorna as they walk across the exercise yard. In that shot, behind Lorna you can also see where C-Wing joins onto Larkhall G-Wing—nothing like the glass link in this photo! The original link can also be seen in S1 Ep3 [23:42] when the Julies and Zandra are walking across the exercise yard discussing Zandra's wedding plans.

Exercise Yard stairs

[007]: The exercise yard stairs close up from the other side—this area is no longer enclosed by a railing. Nikki came down here in S1 Ep6 [29:16] to speak to Jessie about writing to Denny, and it was from below the cells on this side of the stairs that Nikki sent the hooch up to the Julies in S1 Ep8 [37:57]. In S2 Ep2 [12:55] Denny gets a light for her fag from another woman, standing inside the black doorway that we see here leading out onto the stairs. In S2 Ep8 [13:33] Denny hovers next to the stairs waiting to send the mobile phones up to Yvonne.

[008]: The exercise yard stairs up close and personal. In S2 Ep9 [17:11] Crystal comes down these stairs into the exercise yard, and in S2 Ep5 [26.00] Tessa (in Barbara-mode) walks in front of the stairs as Di watches her. In S1 Ep3 [23:37] these stairs can be seen to the right of the women in the exercise yard.

[009]: Taken standing at the top of the exercise yard stairs, facing away from the building, looking down to the right to that area below ground level into which the 'shit parcels' would probably be thrown. Unlike the section to the left of the stairs we looked at in Item [007] above, this area to the right of the stairs is now enclosed by a railing—whereas in Bad Girls, Shell was able to walk down some steps next to the exercise yard stairs into this area to chat Josh up while he was unblocking the drain to the right of and below the exercise yard stairs. In the space between Shell and Josh in S2 Ep4 [14:29] you can also see (above the wall) the steps coming down into the exercise yard from the gate in the wire mesh security fence at the end of the yard.


[010]: C-wing building, looking left from the top of the exercise yard stairs. You can see that the upper storey is a new addition, and they must have rebuilt part of the second storey of the old building.

[011]: This is the more recognisable angle/view of the C-Wing building that we normally get from the exercise yard. In S2 Ep9 [18:06] we see part of the wing behind Crystal, 'Whiplash Wanda', and 'Saucy Sonia', and also the point at which the exercise yard wall joined the C-Wing building. In this photograph it would have been just to the right of the long glass window in the centre of the shot. There is a particularly good view of C-wing in S2 Ep8 [13:26-33, composite] that also shows the interior wall extending from halfway down C-Wing across to the Houses of Correction building. This interior wall has now been completely demolished. The two Houses of Correction buildings are on the extreme right of the shot. There is another good panning shot of C-Wing in S2 Ep9 from (18:04-18:12) and again from (18:20-18:22).

Houses of Correction panorama
[012]: This is a patched-together panorama of the Houses of Correction, also taken from the top of the exercise yard stairs, looking straight across the exercise yard. (At the time when these photos were taken, the exercise yard was set up for a production of Hamlet, so apologies for all the chairs and the stage in the foreground.) In S3 Ep13 [26:08] we get a similar view when Josh comes down the stairs from G-wing into the exercise yard. The building between the two Houses of Correction is a new one and you can compare it with the structure that we see in S3 Ep13 [26:18]. Behind Crystal and the women in the exercise yard is the building that this new one would have replaced. In S1 Ep6 [29:12] you can see one of the Houses of Correction buildings that would have been to the right of this structure, and the same House of Correction with the old structure to the left of it behind Crystal in S3 Ep13 [26:19]. The remains of the old outer perimeter wall still exists to the left and behind the composite photo, out of shot: behind that is Paradise Street and to the left is the end of the Round Tower (C-wing) where we came in. The complex is open to the street and you can walk in there, there is not a full perimeter wall there anymore.

St George's Tower and D-wing
[013]: (These annoying, distinctly un-prisonlike green and white gazebos will unfortunately feature throughout our little tour, sorry!) Also taken from the top of the Larkhall G-wing exercise yard stairs, looking right and up the side of the wing. On the right-hand side of this photo you can see the security fence stairs, and you can see where the mesh security fence would have been in front of the St George's Tower/D-wing building. (The St George's Tower is the square tower centre-left of the shot; D-wing building is now the Unlocked Oxford Castle museum.) The exercise yard security fence features quite a lot in Bad Girls—we see it and the gate and stairs behind Nikki's head in S2 Ep5 [27:11]. In S1 Ep9 [28:21] we see this gate and stairway between Shell and Lorna, and the security fence behind them.

To the left of this photo you can also see the gate between the St George's Tower and one of The Houses of Correction (the building on the extreme left of the shot) [click on second-to-last skinny thumbnail for close-up]. That gate features as an entry point for some of the officers in various places, and a few of the "scene setting" shots of the yard are taken from and through the gate. In S2 Ep8 [14:14] we see the gate from inside the yard and in S1 Ep5 [35:46] we get a view looking from the other side of this gate through to the G-Wing exercise yard.

[014]: D-wing from the exercise yard pathway—not that anyone will be familiar with this view, because it is hidden behind the wire mesh security fence, but it is a good shot to show where the fence would be—which is essentially the full width of this photo, up to the gable-end wall of G-Wing. It also shows the stairs and where the gate in the security fence would have been: where the woman is standing. (Olde Stripey gazebos again though!)

In S1 Ep2 [20:01] you can see this façade of D-Wing with its barred windows through the fence and where the fence ends next to one of the Houses of Correction (seen to the lower left of this photo). You can also see the window on the top left of D-Wing that has been bricked up. In S2 Ep9 [18:29] you can see the gate and steps at the other end next to G-Wing; also visible through the open gate is the long arched window of D-Wing that is to the right of the woman standing at the top of the stairs in the tour photo. As the camera pans right you get a glimpse of the half-moon window seen here, to the woman's left [18.33]. In S1 Ep3 [24:38] we see the security fence, the steps and gate next to G-Wing, and can see where the security fence adjoins G-Wing.



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