The Provost Prison (Grahamstown)
This was built in 1838 as a military prison in the Drostdy grounds when Sir Benjamin d’Urban, who was Governor of the Cape Colony, instructed the royal engineers to plan a “fortified barrack establishment”. The prison was designed on Jeremy Bentham’s panopticon prison system of the 18th century. This design allowed constant surveillance of the prisoners from the guards through the windows of the tower. The outer circle of the building housed the cells and exercise yard and this surrounded the two-storey guard house.
The old prison was deemed a national monument in 1937 and has since been restored and is now under the watch of the Albany Museum Complex. If you are feeling brave during the National Arts Festival you are able to rent out the cells as your grahamstown accommodation for the festival.
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