Ancestry UK

Town Gaol and Bridewell, Helston, Cornwall

In 1812, Helston's Town Gaol was located on Coinagehall Street, Helston. James Neild recorded that:

This Prison stands up a flight of steps, at the end of the Old Coinage Hall, where, (as at other places in Cornwall, according to the ancient Stannary Laws,) tin is appointed to be stamped into pigs, or ingots. It consists of a narrow slip, or room, of 9 feet by 3 feet 6; and another of about 12 feet square, opening into it, which has straw upon the floor. No court-yard. 1803, Oct. 12th, and l806, Oct. 2d, no Prisoners.

In 1835, the gaol consisted of a single room under the same roof as the workhouse, without any yard attached to it.

In 1837, the town corporation erected a new gaol and bridewell at the top of Shute Hill, on land donated by Canon John Rogers . The building had eight cells.

The prison closed in 1866. The building went into disrepair for many years, but the cells have now been preserved and the upper floor converted into two flats.


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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.