Negotiating a negative past in the reuse of historic prisons

Carolyn Gibbeson*, Sarah Gill

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Downloads (Pure)


This paper investigates the reuse of historic former prisons and the effect of their past connotations on that redevelopment and adaptation. It examines, through stakeholder interviews at two former UK prison sites, Northallerton and Oxford, how their history is incorporated into the redevelopment. It explores how the different stakeholders of each site perceived the sites and the effect these perceptions had on their redevelopment. The research explored what happens when a historic site being redeveloped is one with a negative past and how this affects its adaptation and reuse. The paper examines how the history of these two prison sites was employed, treated and dealt with by the different stakeholders working in the redevelopment and successor uses. This approach considers the role of practitioners involved in negatively perceived heritage sites and what this means for heritage redevelopment more widely.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)394-405
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Urban Regeneration and Renewal
Issue number4
Early online date1 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2022
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Negotiating a negative past in the reuse of historic prisons'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this