Ancestry UK

Debtors' Prison, Windsor, Berkshire

A prison for debtors was located at Windsor Castle. It occupied the rooms above the Henry VIII Gateway in the castle's Lower Ward. A report by John Howard in 1792 noted:

Henry VIII Gateway, Windsor Castle.

I need not observe that his Majesty is proprietor. The Duke of Montague is constable: he appoints a janitor with a salary: the janitor appoints a deputy, who for a house rent-free, and certain perquisites, does the duty. The prison out of repair. It consists of three rooms on the first floor and three rooms over them.

At my last visit I found that the old keeper had been murdered in the tap-room by a soldier, who also killed another, and was then shot himself. This is not the first instance I have known of persons being murdered in the tap-room of gaols. Such are the bad effects of selling liquors in prisons.

The number of prisoners in March 1776 was two, in March 1779 one, and in November 1782 none.

The prison was closed by 1805 and the rooms converted to other uses.


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.