Anstey Cage




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Alternative Names   Anstey Lock-Up

Nation   England

County   Hertfordshire

Location   St George's End,  Anstey

Map location   exact or closely approximate

Year opened   1830

Year closed   Unknown

Century of Operation   1800-1899, 1900-1999

Building Type   Church

Remarks   Formed by converting part of the lychgate to the church (St George's). A list of police lock-ups in 1842 included Anstey's, which is assumed to be the repurposed cage in the church lychgate (see separate listing for Anstey Police Station). However, the police lock-up in 1842 contained furniture and had cost a considerable sum to refit, suggesting it was a building other than this small cage.


''Lychgate incorporating a lockup. C15 or earlier, lockup enclosed in flint and brick walls in 1831. Timber frame on red brick sill walls uncoursed flint with grey brick quoins to lockup, and hipped old red tile roof with gablets. A small, single-storey rectangular structure facing S, open below except where the square lockup occupies the E 2/5ths, entered from N. 3 heavy chamfered square posts in line on the central long axis support the rest of the structure. Arched knee-braces in the head of the central opening, with a narrower W side-bay. The posts stand on sill-beams aligned N-S with struts to the posts. A longitudinal beam links the heads of the posts and carries 3 heavy cross-ties braced from the posts. The single-framed collar rafter roof stands on heavy wallplates carried on the crossties. The wallplate at the NE corner has head mortice for a corner-post and brace, suggesting that a timber-framed enclosure or lockup preceded the flint-walled one. This has thick boards as a ceiling and a boarded door with barred fanlight. In use as the parish cage up to the early C20''

Historic England, National Heritage List for England, 'Lychgate, Anstey, LEN 1101869'

'[attached to the church lychgate is] a village lock-up which was, at first, according to the Hertfordshire Mercury in [27 December] 1831, so securely constructed that "a few nights ago Thomas Edwards, a man confined therein for disorderly conduct in a public house, effected his escape by pushing one side of the building down"...Tom Edwards obviously got drunk at Christmas and was soon rearrested and jailed again.'

Brian J. Bailey, 'Portrait of Hertfordshire’, (Robert Hale, 1978), p.165

Featured Images

  • ExteriorPhoto © Bikeboy (cc-by-sa/2.0)


    Historic England, National Heritage List for England, 'Lychgate, Anstey, LEN 1101869'

  • Roy's Blog, 'Hertfordshire. Lock-ups at Anstey, Ashwell, Barley, Buntingford and Shenley' (26 June 2013)

  • Brian J. Bailey, 'Portrait of Hertfordshire’, (Robert Hale, 1978), p.165


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