FINAL ANSWER UPDATE
So I just learned the reason the OP wants to use 301 redirect is get rid of the annoyance of recurring errors even though new site maps have been submitted and marked as fixed.
Use a 410 redirect to completely remove the URL's from index and recurring 404 error notices.
To remove a directory, add something like this to you htaccess file:
Redirect 410 /path_to_directory
Here is what Google has to say about 404 removals:
Make removal permanent
The Remove URLs tool is only a temporary removal. To remove content or a URL from Google search permanently you must take one or more of the following additional actions:
- Remove or update the actual content from your site (images, pages,
directories) and make sure that your web server returns either a 404
(Not Found) or 410 (Gone) HTTP status code. Non-HTML files (like
PDFs) should be completely removed from your server. (Learn more
about HTTP status codes)
- Block access to the content, for example by requiring a password.
- Indicate that the page should not to be indexed using the noindex
meta tag. This is less secure than the other methods.
A 301 redirect for deleted pages doesn't make sense.
A redirect tells a user and search engines a page or site name has moved and you direct/point them to the new correct page or URL.
That is not the case here.
A 404 error will work fine and what most people do not realize is, 404 error pages do not affect your ranking. Google simply asks that 404 error pages should at least have a link a user can still navigate with. A nice little description is better for the user (ie. the page you are looking for no longer exists and maybe have a link to the home page and or category that may be similar.
That is what the real situation is and not this current page has permanently moved to this page. If it doesnt add up to the user it wont to the search engine as well.
If you change your domain name, a 301 redirect is the right method.
With custom 404 pages you can have fun or be creative and get a chance to use CTA's. It is more engaging than redirecting them from where they thought they were going, to someone imposed on them.