Borstal, Rochester

Borstal, Rochester

infobox UK place
country = England

static_image_caption= Borstal from the M2 bridge.
population =
shire_district= Medway
shire_county = Kent
region= South East England
constituency_westminster= Rochester and Strood
post_town= Rochester
postcode_district =
postcode_area= ME1
dial_code= 01643
os_grid_reference= TQ731668

Borstal is a place in the unitary authority of Medway in South East England. Originally a distinct community just outside Rochester it has become absorbed by the expansion of Rochester, and is now a part of that larger community.

The youth prison located at Borstal gave its name to the Borstal reform school system.


Its name came from Anglo-Saxon "burg-steall" "fort site" or "place of refuge", The Place Names of Kent,Judith Glover,1976,Batsford. ISBN 0905270 614 ] likely referring to the hill there. The hill is now the home to Fort Borstal.

The village is mentioned in Domesday Book.

The parish church, built in 1879, is dedicated to St Matthew.

Fort Borstal

Fort Borstal was built as an afterthought from the 1859 Royal Commission on the Defence of the United Kingdom, by convict labour between 1875 and 1885. It is of polygonal design and was never originally armed. An anti-aircraft battery was based there in the Second World War.

Borstal Prison

Outside Borstal village is Borstal Prison a large convict prison, founded in 1870. Borstal Prison was once an experimental juvenile prison of the reformatory type set up in 1902. Because it was the first detention centre of its kind in the UK, the word "Borstal" became synonymous with other detention centres for youths across the country, and elsewhere. In view of that connotation, the centre is now called Cookham Wood, and is called a "Young Offenders Institution".




*John K. Austin, "The Medway Shore as It Was: Burham to Borstal", Rainmore Books (2007), ISBN 095539032X
*Winifred F. Bergess and Stephen Sage, "Five Medway Villages: Pictorial History of Aylesford, Burham, Wouldham, Eccles and Borstal", Meresborough Books (1983), ISBN 0905270649

External links

* [ Borstal website, including history] (village and prison)
* [$366692.htm Young Offenders Institution]

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