THE HANGING Shed in Barlinnie, where nine men died on the gallows

between 1946 and 1960, is to be demolished this year.

When work starts on the reconstruction of Barlinnie's D hall in a few

months, what is known as the execution suite will be destroyed, and with

it a grim chapter of history.

The deputy governor of Barlinnie, Mrs Kate Donegan, said yesterday:

''It is my personal view, but I will be glad to see it gone.

''Over the years it has been a closed-off part of the prison which

everyone was aware was there but which no-one really thought about. It

is a total anachronism and has no place in modern penal thinking.''

This view was echoed by Glasgow lawyer Len Murray, who represented

teenager Tony Miller, the last man to hang on the Barlinnie gallows,

almost 35 years ago.

He commented: ''My experience in acting for Tony Miller left an

indelible mark on me. I am delighted that this relic of an appalling

episode on our history is about to disappear. The whole experience is

one I would never wish on any young member of my profession.''

The Hanging Shed and the gallows has been maintained over the years

because capital punishment remained on the Statute Book for treason and

sedition, and Scotland was required to retain a facility.

Although parliamentary majorities against capital punishment have

grown each time the House of Commons is sounded, the facilities were

kept largely in case that view changed.

Although the Barlinnie execution suite will vanish, a smaller one will

be maintained in Perth Prison.

With enormous pressure on space in Scottish prisons, the need to make

use of every square yard for cells is pressing. Barlinnie is constantly

a third overcrowded.

The plan to renovate Barlinnie's D Hall will mean dividing the

Victorian building into four smaller halls, each accommodating around 50

men, which will allow closer and more beneficial management.

The #5.2m plan will sweep away most of the Victorian paraphernalia of

the hall, dividing it vertically and horizontally, bringing with it in

the process night sanitation to the prisoners for the first time. The

cells will also have electricity installed.

The Barlinnie Hanging Shed was capable of executing three prisoners

simultaneously, but it was never required for multiple executions.

Although building started at Barlinnie in 1880, the first hanging in

the jail was not until 1946. The previous hanging in the city was at

Duke Street Prison on August 3, 1928, when George Reynolds was executed

for the murder of a bakehouse fireman.

The men who died at Barlinnie were:

February 8, 1946 -- John Lyon, 21; April 6, 1946 -- Patrick Carraher,

39; August 10, 1946 -- John Caldwell, 20; October 30, 1950 -- Paul

Christopher Harris, 28; December 16, 1950 -- James Ronald Robertson, 33;

May 29, 1952 -- Patrick Gallacher Deveney, 42; January 26, 1953 --

George Francis Shaw; July 11, 1958 -- Peter Manuel, 32; December 22,

1960 -- Anthony Miller, 19.

The case of Miller, the last man to be hanged -- not Peter Manuel as

popular misconception has it -- left an indelible mark on Mr Murray, now

a distinguished elder statesman of the Scottish legal profession.

It was a mixture of anguish and anger which made him a life-long

opponent of capital punishment. He describes his stance with great power

over two chapters of a forthcoming book. The Herald today carries a

shortened version of Mr Murray's description of the events.