Ancestry UK

Borough Gaol, Plympton Erle, Devon

In 1780, after prison cells were created under the Plympton Erle Guildhall, at the north side of Fore Street, the Town Gaol was moved there from its previous location in a nearby house known as The Cage, 100 yards to the east.

In 1835, it was reported that:

The borough gaol is very insufficient. It consists of two small rooms under the Guildhall, with a small yard, The justices of the borough have by charter the power of committing to the county gaol at Exeter, but transient offenders are confined in the borough gaol. The magistrates are, however, unwilling to commit to it.


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.