Page last updated at 20:32 GMT, Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Prison dungeon is uncovered

A forgotten dungeon has been uncovered under a tourist attraction in Nottingham city centre.

The 20ft (6m) hole, found under the Galleries of Justice, is thought to be an oubliette, where people were incarcerated hundreds of years ago.

The name means 'forgotten place' and was a dungeon where prisoners were thrown or lowered by rope.

It was uncovered as workmen were taking up the floor of the building to start work on a new visitor attraction.

Cathy Rowson, marketing co-ordinator at the Galleries of Justice said: "Prisoners were lowered into it and left either to starve to death or were fed and left to descend into madness.

"Considering it was a pit where no-one could get out of, it's highly likely there are human remains down there. Unfortunately we can't get the archaeologists down there to find out until we obtain funding."

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Known as an Oubliette, it was a place of no return for prisoners thrown into it



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