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The Cell Block

September 8, 201811:42 amSeptember 28, 2023 11:45 am

Past exhibition by English Heritage at The Peace Museum from 8th September until 26th October 2018.

The Cell Block is a new travelling exhibition created by English Heritage as part of their Heritage Lottery funded project to conserve and uncover the stories of the graffiti at the 19th century Richmond Castle, cell block.

Digitally explore the cells, come face-to-face with the graffiti and uncover the stories of its creators.

The graffiti ranges from delicate portraits to bold political and religious statements; pastoral scenes to regimental numbers. These often intricate drawings and profound statements provide an extraordinary insight into the lives of those who were incarcerated or stationed at Richmond Castle across approximately 100 years,  from the 19th until the 20th century.

Much of the graffiti was drawn by conscientious objectors who were imprisoned at the castle during the First World War for refusing to participate in the war effort on moral, political or religious grounds. Included among these men were the conscientious objectors known as the Richmond Sixteen who were transported to France in May 1916 and sentenced to death – a sentence later commuted to ten years’ hard labour – for refusing to obey military orders.

Come and visit this interactive and thought-provoking exhibition and walk through the cells in English Heritage’s bespoke digital model,  learn about the science of the graffiti’s conservation and record your own messages on the graffiti wall.

To find out more about the graffiti and Richmond Castle Cell Block project, visit:

Launch Event

Join us for the launch event from 11 am – 3 pm on Saturday 8th September at The Peace Museum premises in Piece Hall Yard, Bradford  Entrance is free, all are welcome to attend. Please note the museum is up some 60 steps with no lift.

Written by Ezra Kingston