The Verne Citadel, Portland
In 1847, a start was made on temporary prison buildings for prisoners building the breakwater and barracks for troops who were to guard them. The first 350 prison cells were completed in June 1848. The first prisoners landed on November 24 1848 at Castletown from the HM steamer Driver. These 64 prisoners were escorted by a detachment of 23rd Fusiliers. The Inspector General of Fortifications visited in May 1853 to see the excavation work in progress.
The Verne citadel was designed by Captain W Crossman of the Royal Engineers and enclosed an area of 56 acres.
1861 saw the first of the heavy calibre guns delivered. 180 men had laid 3 million convict made bricks in two years.
The Verne fortress remained until after the 2nd World War and then lay vacant until 1948, when the Home Office confirmed that the Verne was to be used as a "training centre" for 200 "star class" prisoners.