THE future of Reading Gaol is uncertain as the site has been put on the market by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) who will be accepting bids from potential buyers until December 6.

Campaigners have been working tirelessly to see whether the historic site can be saved and turned into an arts and heritage hub for the community.

READ ALSO: Reading gaol's infamous inmates.

We've decided to take a look back at the building's history as plans for its future are discussed.

The Grade-II listed building was built in 1844 but, according to Historic England, the original County Gaol was located in Castle Street and moved to a new building on the current site in 1786.

They explained by the 1840s the prison had become overcrowded and in 1842 a competition was held to design a new site for criminals.

Reading Chronicle:

George Gilbert Scott and William Bonython Moffatt came up with the winning design based on a London prison.

READ ALSO: Reading Gaol officially put up for sale.

The plan had a central hub and a series of individual cells designed to implement the 'separate system' of solitary confinement and regular surveillance.

Reading Chronicle:

Historic England explained this was introduced in Britain under the 1939 Prisons Act.

Reading continued as the County Gaol for the next 70 years.

Its most famous inmate was Oscar Wilde who, according to the British Library, was found guilty of "acts of gross indecency with other male persons" in 1895.

Reading Chronicle:

The gaol closed in November 1915 and served as an internment centre from 1916 until 1919.

Historic England revealed in the latter part of WWII it was used as a military prison by the Canadian Army, reopening in 1946 as an overflow prison for men serving short sentences.

In 1969-70 it was returned to use as an adult prison and between 1992 and its closure at the end of 2013 Reading served as a remand centre and Young Offenders Institution.