Ancestry UK

Borough Gaol and Lock-up House, Axbridge, Somerset

In 1818, Axbridge's Borough Gaol, located on St Mary's Street, comprised two rooms able to hold up to 12 inmates, with an adjoining court house. Axbridge, Somerset.

In 1835, it was reported:

The borough Gaol is merely a lock-up of two rooms, with a court annexed to it. Prisoners have been sentenced to confinement there for a month, and frequently for less periods. There is no fixed gaol allowance, but the prisoners are maintained and the gaol kept in order at the expense of the corporation. The expense of removing prisoners to the county gaol is paid out of the county rate, and that has been paid when prisoners have been sent for custody to Shepton Mallet, and brought back to Axbridge for trial. That is thought to be more economical to the county than trying them at the county sessions.

The magistrates visit the gaol regularly whenever any one is confined there, besides which the bailiff' in that case visits it once or twice daily. During the fair, as many as 20 persons have been confined in those two rooms sometimes for two or three nights together. Females are never sent to the gaol while male prisoners are there, but are kept in the bailiff’s custody in a strong room at one of the inns.

The prison appears to have closed in abouty 1836.


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  • Prison Oracle - resources those involved in present-day UK prisons.
  • GOV.UK - UK Government's information on sentencing, probation and support for families.