Location police station, Market Place Birkenhead
Map location exact or closely approximate
Year opened unknown
Year closed unknown
Century of Operation 1800-1899
Building Type Police Station
'It is situated in the market-place in a central position adjoining to the police office ... There are 13 ceels (six on the basement story, and seven on the floor above), one of which is used only as a lumber room, and two others are unfurnished and are never used ... The cells on the basement story are divided into male and female wards. The cells open into passages. All the lower ones (six in number) are damp, being below the ground; and in fact all the basement story, yard, etc are lower than the land surrounding the building. The cells are lighted by grated openings in the walls; but those on the upper floor are all nearly dark. These, however, are used only as sleeping cells. The cells on the ground floor have shutters, with a pane of glass in each, and are light. In five of the cells there is no provision for warming; the others have open fire-grates, some of which have iron guards before them, but some are unprotected. In five of the cells the ventilation is insufficient, there being nothing but the grated openings before-mentioned. The rest, having chimneys in addition to these openings, are tolerably well ventilated ... Wooden tubs with lids are put in to the sleeping cells to be used as night vessels. There is also a privy in each ward on the basement floor ... The keeper looked like a man addicted to drinking, and I found on inquiry that this was the case, and that he was therefore, very unfit for his situation. It appeared that the police has been sometimes called in to protect his wife from his violence when he was in a state of intoxication. I requested the magistrates to investigate these matters, which they did in my presence, and finding the facts to be as alleged, they immediately suspended him from office.'
Inspectors of Prisons of Great Britain IV. Northern District, Thirteenth Report (Parl. Papers, 1847-8, XXXVI.361), p.95
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