Ancestry UK

Lock-up, Maidenhead, Berkshire

A report in 1818 recorded that Maidenhead had 'one small place of confinement', which was used to detain prisoners until they could be sent to the county gaol or house of correction at Reading.

In 1835, it was noted that 'There is a Gaol and Cell within the town, both of which are used as places of temporary confinement only. The Town Gaol is used for county prisoners as well as for those committed by the corporate magistrates. It is kept by the serjeant at mace, who acts as gaoler under the superintendence of the mayor.'

On 19 April 1858, a tramp named James Taylor was charged with stealing a loaf of bread. Having already been in custody for 13 days, he was sentenced to three days further imprisonment in Maidenhead Gaol.

The prison appears to have been in occasional use until at least 1899.

The location of the gaol/cell is unclear but was probably in the old Guildhall on the High Street, which was demolished in 1963.


Note: many repositories impose a closure period of up to 100 years for records identifying individuals. Before travelling a long distance, always check that the records you want to consult will be available.

  • No individual records identified for this establishment — any information welcome.
  • The National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 4DU. Has a wide variety of crime and prison records going back to the 1770s, including calendars of prisoners, prison registers and criminal registers.
  • Find My Past has digitized many of the National Archives' prison records, including prisoner-of-war records, plus a variety of local records including Manchester, York and Plymouth. More information.
  • Prison-related records on Ancestry UK include Prison Commission Records, 1770-1951, and local records from London, Swansea, Gloucesterhire and West Yorkshire. More information.
  • The Genealogist also has a number of National Archives' prison records. More information.


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