The life and times of the old lady of Greenbank
THE site of the Old Greenbank prison has a long and chequered history.
In 1849 it was built as part of the Greenbank borough prison.
It was adjacent to the workhouse, built two years later, which later became Freedom Fields Hospital.
The part of the building which remains would have contained the governors office, prison surgery and a receiving cell.
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In 1935 it became Plymouth police headquarters and a court for 40 years.
It remained despite being struck by a 1000lb bomb during the war.
The north west corner of the site included the ambulance station while the south east corner was, and still is, Greenbank fire station.
By 1987 it was occupied by Plymouth Health Authority and named Longfield House.
Aldi bought the site in 1997 and failed in their attempt to renovate it.
In 2009, police chiefs granted The Herald exclusive access to the decaying building and showed how it had become a hot spot for drug addicts and bored children.
In January last year a community group of 15, calling themselves the Greenbank Greenspace, took it upon themselves to clean the area up.
The group turn it into an area the whole community can be proud of.
But just weeks later, Aldi were ordered by the council to secure the site.
The community minded squatters were served with an eviction notice by bailiffs.
Aldi then boarded up the site and it has lain for the last year with no sign of activity.