Darlington Lock-Up House

Overview

Sources

Comments Print

Overview

Nation   England

County   Durham

Location   town hall  Darlington

Map location   in the vicinity

Year opened   unknown

Year closed   unknown

Century of Operation   1800-1899

Building Type   Town Hall

Description

'The lock-up house at this town consists of two small cells on the ground-floor of the town-hall. The cells are 8 feet long and 10 feet high, but they are only 3 feet 9 inches wide; they are divided by a wooden partition; they have no other opening than a grating over the door into a small lobby; the cells are insecure, and there are no means of warming them ... The place is very ill-ventilated, and there is no water-closet, bucket, or convenience of any kind. It was stated that male prisoners are taken to a public house in the neighbourhood when then want to use a privy, but that female prisoners are not removed. Under such circumstances it cannot be wondered at that the place stunk, and that it was very dirty. A wooden slab in each cell, only broad enough for one prisoner to lie on, is the provision for sleeping. There were cobwebs and obscene writing on the walls. I was informed that prisoners remanded for examination sometimes remain three or four days in this lock-up house and that there have been as many as eight prisoners in it at the same time ... Robert Hutton, the superintendent [states] There is no convenience at all for the prisoners relieving themselves, and in the morning the stench is sometimes dreadful. Drunken people are often put in in the night, and what with vomiting and other filth, the place in the morning, and the persons of the prisoners also, are often in a most disgusting state. A few days ago a regiment of soldiers passed through the town with six military prisoners, but when the colonel saw our lock up house he said it was not a fit place to put a man in, and would not therefore allow his men to be placed there.'

Inspectors of Prisons of Great Britain IV. Scotland, Northumberland and Durham, Sixth Report (Parl. Papers, 1841 Session 2, V.413), p.42

Featured Images

We don’t have any historical or contemporary pictures of this lock-up at present. If you could give us one, or maybe several, we would be delighted! Follow this link to submit an image of this lock-up. For more information on how to photograph lock ups for the purposes of historical research, please see our User Guide.

SOURCES

    Inspectors of Prisons of Great Britain IV. Scotland, Northumberland and Durham, Eighth Report (Parl. Papers, 1843, XXV. & XXVI.441), p.92
  • Inspectors of Prisons of Great Britain IV. Scotland, Northumberland and Durham, Sixth Report (Parl. Papers, 1841 Session 2, V.413), p.42

Comments

Is there something you’d like to tell us about this lock-up which doesn’t fit easily into the categories of information above? Perhaps you have a good story about someone who was confined in the lock up. Would you like to start a conversation about the lock-up with others who are also interested in either lock-ups or local history? Or would you like to tell us how you have used the data on this lock-up? Please leave a reply!

Alternatively, if you would like to correct or add to the data in the record, please follow this link. Or, click here if you like to find out more about contributing to this project.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *