Chippenham Lock-up




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Alternative Names   Yelde Hall

Nation   England

County   Wiltshire

Location   to the rear of Yelde Hall, Market Place  Chippenham

Map location   exact or closely approximate

Year opened   13th century

Year closed   1653

Century of Operation   1500-1599, 1600-1699

Building Type   Lock-Up, Town Hall

Remarks   A story on this lock-up is available here:


'Formerly known as: The Old Fire Station MARKET PLACE. Town hall. Early C15, re-roofed and renewed 1614. Large panel timber-framed with irregularly-spaced uprights and various tension braces on a limestone rubble base with freestone quoins and dressings, stone slate roof. PLAN: 5-bay plan with entry to 4-bay open hall with storeyed end bay. EXTERIOR: 2 storeys; one-window range. To the inside-right of the east facade (front) are 2 small gables, that over the door has a plaster coat of arms, J.S. and date 1776. To the far right is an ashlar wall to a small lock-up yard, it has an arched niche with hoodmould and dog-tooth coping to a cornice. The north wall is C16 rubblestone replacing original frame to the ground floor with 2 segmental arched openings below a horizontal sliding sash window with 15 panes to each sash. The north rubblestone wall continues round to the west side for approx 3m with a loophole to the top. The timber-frame then steps down to the plinth. Windows to the west wall have been removed. INTERIOR: 4-bay collar-truss tie-beam hall roof with 2 tiers of windbraces, similar 5th bay to the north. At the north end, upstairs, is the former courtroom and council chamber, including panelling and bailiff's chair. Beneath it was the blind house or lock-up. HISTORY: before 1580, when The shambles was built, the hall had stood alone in the market place. Records exist of a blind house in the C16 (1563) and accounts for renovating in 1614. A notable survival of its type, remarkable for the retention of its large-panelled timber-framing and the 1st-floor council chamber. (Chamberlain, Joseph A: Chippenham: Chippenham: 1976-: 31; The Buildings of England: Pevsner N & Cherry B: Wiltshire: London: 1967-1975: 169). '

Historic England, National Heritage List for England, 'The Yelde Hall and Council Chamber', LEN 1267996

Featured Images

  • Present exteriorcourtesy of Yelde Hall Museum
  • Exterior, rear, c.1850. Lock-up to rear rightCourtesy of Yelde Hall Museum

Description: Present exterior

Photo by: courtesy of Yelde Hall Museum

Description: Exterior, rear, c.1850. Lock-up to rear right

Photo by: Courtesy of Yelde Hall Museum


    Melissa Barnett, 'Chippenham's Medieval Hall', Prison History, 7 June 2019

  • Roy's Blog, 'WILTSHIRE. Lock-ups at Chippenham, Devizes, Malmesbury and Salisbury.' (24 March 2013)

  • Historic England, National Heritage List for England, 'The Yelde Hall and Council Chamber', LEN 1267996



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