HMP Guys Marsh

HMP Guys Marsh is a Category C (lowest category of a secure prison) training prison in rural north Dorset.

HMP Guys Marsh and its beginnings.

The land on which the prison stands was a working farm before the Second World War.  It was taken over urgently in 1939 to become a British War hospital with wooden huts built to accommodate the injured.  After the war it became an American controlled transit camp helping to deal with the huge number of displaced people of many nationalities.  In 1957 this ended and Guys Marsh was earmarked to become a Borstal for young male offenders.  By 1962 it was receiving young lads in open conditions. Later its role changed to become an open Young Offenders Institute but as security became an issue the establishment’s category was upgraded to a Cat C prison and the surrounding high fence built.  Over time the wooden huts have disappeared to be replaced with modern brick units – thankfully the pleasant view of the hills around remained visible to soften the prison regime.