OPEN SUNDAY 22nd - BOATS 12pm & 2pm Closed Mon 23rd-Fri 27th

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OCTOBER MIDTERM 7 DAYS 12pm & 2pm - RETURN 3.5 HRS LATER

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SPIKE ISLAND AFTER DARK TICKETS

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Opening Times

1985 cells

On the 29th of March 1985 the Department of defence handed over control of the Fort to the Department of Justice.  By the summer of 1985 Spike Island was a prison once again, now holding over 120 civilian prisoners, most who had been convicted of the crime of ‘Joyriding’, stealing a car and driving it around dangerously.

They were held in the former Naval service accommodation which was inadequate and in August of 1985 a serious riot broke out, with many buildings destroyed and the islands civilians having to be evacuated.

As a result of the riot the Northwest casements were converted into more suitable 4 man prison cells which can be visited today.  Solitary cells were later added in the Punishment block where unruly prisoners would be kept wearing only their underwear.

The prisoners went to school up to 4 days a week with up to 75% involved in some form of education.   There is an exhibition of the art created by these prisoners in the upper floor of the Punishment block.

By February 2004 rising costs brought about the closure of the prison and the last of the prisoners were transferred off the island.