Writes Louis Fustaigne, the Herald’s Travel and Corrective Services Correspondent.
Bothies – shelters in the Scottish wilderness where inmates can spend the night free of charge – have long been one of Scotland’s best-kept secrets. Now a new book has revealed the location of some of the most iconic. One of the most picturesque, Carstairs Penitentiary, built in the neo-bothic style, has remained virtually untouched over the years. Inside there are tables, chairs and cells that comfortably sleep 10 people lying on top of each other. Carstairs infamously inspired one of Scottish poet Shug McDuddy’s least known ballads:
A sinner he ance asked o me
Whaur wull Ah spend eternity
In paradise or purgatory?
Not you, young man. You’re gonnae be
Incarcerated – indefinitely
In Carstairs Penitentiary.