Posted: Mon 21st Dec 2015

Prison Names FOI: Yale Jail or HMP Bad Dragon? for people living in or visiting the wrexham area
This article is old - Published: Monday, Dec 21st, 2015

Earlier this year an invite was opened to members of the public to suggest names for the new prison by Wrexham, with 54 of you taking part.

The invite was extended by the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) who then collated the responses. placed an FOI to discover the suggestions, and after a lengthy wait the results are below, with a mix of fun and more serious ideas.

Two weeks ago the final shortlist was made public, with queries over some of the spelling and translations of the names suggested.

Below are the names suggested by members of the public, along with the reason given. It is likely that the prison name would take the form of X Prison, or HMP X rather than the stand alone name or phrase. The names are suggested by the public, as are the reasons attached, therefore any spelling errors or historical inaccuracies are from the public rather than NOMS or ourselves!

Cadwallon Valley
Cadwallon was king of Gwynedd in 625 until his death in battle and his name means ‘One who leads’, hence I thought a leading prison.

The word mountain in Welsh is “Mynydd” I feel this would be quite suiting. Mountains are large and a challenge to climb, in many aspects the prison has been a challenge for many, and will when open, challenge those who do not observe the law.

After the local river

After the father of Welsh Nationalism

No reason.

No reason.

No reason.

This is a local road nearby on the roundabout

Yale Jail
After Elihu Yale. Who originated from Wrexham and then set up Yale University. (Could be sponsored…Yale Locks

Y Ffordd Gywir
This translates into The Correct Road

After the Firestone site

Hywl Dda
Famous medieval Welsh law giver

Cerrig tan
Welsh translation of Fire Stone, the former site

After a local river

Combines Welsh and English language and has an ethos of ‘rising from the ashes’ to self improvement and rebirth

Goggledd Ddwyrain
Means North East in Welsh and will remind English visitors of the Welsh weather

Ddraig Drwg
Means bad dragon

Maelor originated as an area of The Kingdom of Powys. It became divided from the Kingdom by the construction of Offa’s Dyke in the 8th Century. By the 13th Century Maelor had been divided into a number of areas including, Welsh Maelor – an ancient district of Wales to the west of the River Dee, and English Maelor – an area enclosed by the Welsh/English border. The new prison is being built across the road from the hamlet of Pentre Maelor The new prison is being built within a modern Business PARK

HMP Caia
This has local meaning and is Welsh

Carchar Owain Glyndwr
no reason

NEWRI – North East Wales Reform Institute
It ‘regionalizes’ the prison rather than naming it after a town or area and a goal of any prison should be to reform inmates to prevent re-offending.

HMP Llifddol
translates as ‘water meadow’, which is the meaning of the name Wrexham/Wrecsam.

N.E.W. Prison

Hywel Dda
Named after the Welsh King who’s codification of Welsh law helped foster a sense of nationhood and, crucially, citizenship. The key words here being LAW and CITIZENSHIP.

Dinas Emrys
Located near Beddgelert, Dinas Emrys is the mountain home of the famous Welsh red dragon. In the fifth century the Celtic King Vortigern chose the area as the site for his castle. A prison has many similar properties to a castle, a place of seclusion, protection and security etc.

Llech Prison
Llech meaning slate – Welsh slate and a clean slate

Translates into ‘holy boarder’ Having studied a little about the history of prisons, and that they were originally designed as a place of repentance. I think that this name could be seen in a positive light. Hopefully encouraging the prisoners to move forward and repent for the crimes they have committed.

Marcher Prison
because its between england and wales in the marchers

You can see the Cambrian mountains

Welsh for prison

Carchar y Ffin
Boarder prison

Bridgestone Prison
Mixture of being on the bridge and the old Firestone site

Dee Bank prison
River link

Offa Prison
no reason

Bowling bank prison
no reason

Erddig Prison
no reason

Redwither prison
no reason

St. Paul’s Prison
Biblical link

The most infamous member of the constabulary and a Wrexham character

Ty Iâl
no reason

Hen Delynau Prison (Old Harps Prison)
Taken from ‘Rhyfel’. Harp being a symbol of Wales, relates to peace and hope.

Translates as ‘New’ in English

Warenne prison
based on the first English Lord from 1282 (John de Warenne)

The Oaks
no reason

HMP Wrexham
We are proud of the town and want to show it off

HMP North Wales Prison

HMP Jeffreys
After the ‘hanging judge’ who was born in Wrexham

After the Stonefire site

HMP Westside Wrexham
no reason

HMP Gwyn
After St Richard Gwyn

The final shortlisted names released was as below, with comment from the National Offender Management Service. Russ Trent, governor of the new prison, said: “We now have a shortlist of six names, all suggested by the local community, for the prison. We would now like to hear people’s views on this shortlist as the final decision is made.

Y Berwyn
We had a number of suggestions for Mynydd, which is Welsh for ‘mountain’ because of the landscape. The prison’s naming sub-committee felt this was an excellent choice but then wanted it to be more localised so suggested naming it after the nearby mountains – hence Y Berwyn.

The name of the main road into the estate where the prison is based.

Named after the wider ‘marches’, the location on the boarder of Wales and England where the prison is located.

Cerrig Tan
Welsh for Fire Stone, the former factory on the prison site.

Dee Vale
Based on the river which runs through the area.

The Saxon name for Wrexham.

Mr Trent added: “I would like to thank everyone for their suggestions and our committee for coming up with the shortlist.”

To give any feedback on the final shortlist people are encouraged to email

As we first noted whichever name is put forward will have to be signed off by the Queen as the prison is Crown Property.

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