Location town hall Darlington
Map location in the vicinity
Year opened unknown
Year closed unknown
Century of Operation 1800-1899
Building Type Town Hall
'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
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