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spent time in the jail where children as young as seven could be detained for minor crimes and subjected to whippings or pointless manual labour. “The birching table is a replica of the real thing. It was designed specifically for whipping boys. The idea was to give boys and teenage males such a thrashing that they won’t ever do anything like that again.” said Gavin Dick, Prison Governor of Inveraray Jail. “Up to the age of 14 you could have 14 stripes but from 14 to 18 you could have 36 stripes as they called it.” The jail closed in 1889 and reopened exactly a century later but it was used as a sheriff court for Argyll right up to 1953. For a while the offices were used as a sorting office by the Post Office but shortly after they left it fell into disrepair until it reopened as a visitor attraction in 1989.

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Profile for Scotland Correspondent

Scotland Correspondent issue 5