ATTACHED to a heavy ball and chain and decked out in a prison outfit, it’s not the usual way for a schoolboy to kick off a half-term holiday.

But Freddie Cooke had the chance to become a Victorian prisoner at Oxford Castle yesterday afternoon.

The 10-year-old went along to the Hard Labour event to relive the experiences of brutal Victorian punishments such as shot-drilling, oakum picking, the tread wheel and other punishing exercises. Freddie from Oxford said: “It was a great experience.

“For the shot-drilling exercise, I was ordered to carry this heavy metal ball by a warden. It is definitely worth going along to.”

  • Hard Labour runs until Sunday. Tickets cost £15 for adults, £12 for concessions, £10 for children, and £45 for families.

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