Ancestry UK

Town Gaol, Weymouth, Dorset

Weymouth had a Town Gaol at the front of the Town Hall on High West Street. In 1818, it could accommodate just two inmates and was described as:

A small Gaol, in which prisoners are only confined for one night, and always committed to the County Gaol for trial, &c.

In 1835, it was reported that:

The gaol properly consists of only two small cells, which are situated behind the town hall, and which were made some years ago when an escape was effected from the prison in front of the town hall. Debtors taken in execution are sometimes confined in these cells, but it more usually happens that upon giving security they are permitted to occupy the parts of the building which are below the town hall, and which afford better accommodation than the cells. Not more than one or two debtors are taken in execution within the borough m the course of the year. Prisoners who are to be tried for felony at the sessions are committed to these cells, and are supported there at the expense of the corporation. One of the serjeants at mace has the charge of the gaol, but the mayor is considered as being the legal keeper of it, and he is responsible in case of a debtor's escape.

The prison appears to have closed in about 1841.


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  • 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.