picture of historical equipment in shepton mallet prison

Students Explore Shepton Mallet Prison’s History


Students from the BA Hons Uniformed & Public Services programme embarked on an eye-opening journey through history during a recent visit to Shepton Mallet Prison, nicknamed the ‘Mallet’. The students delved into the depths of this infamous correctional facility, learning secrets as they went. 

Throughout the day, the students were told about the mysteries behind prison terminology, discovering the origins of why prison officers are often called ‘screws’ and why convicts adhered to the tradition of moving anti-clockwise during recreation time. After this, they gained insight into the gruelling tasks of ‘picking oakum’ and about the ominous phrase ‘kicking the bucket’ which originated at the prison.  

Shepton Mallet Prison, with a history dating back to the 1600s, has housed a myriad of notable residents, including the notorious Kray twins in the 1950s. Only closing in 2013, the site is now a tourist attraction, teaching about the history of crime and the prison system. As part of a visit, visitors can enjoy guided tours, ghost tours and a variety of other activities. The prison was recently used as a filming location for the feature-film Paddington 2, as well as a wide range of other TV and music videos!  

By being part of a Career Excellence Hub, all of our courses are designed to make you “job ready” when you graduate. We work with a diverse range of local and national employers to ensure our courses are upgraded with career-boosting benefits, and curriculum content is relevant to today’s industry.  

At University Centre Weston, we vary a traditional classroom setting with guest speakers, trips to businesses and employer projects. Through this practice, we equip our learners with the real-world experiences and insights that set them apart in the competitive job market. In an interview, when you are able to draw on real-life experiences, this can help you stand out from other candidates.   

For more information about our brand new BSC in Criminology and Public Services course, click here!