Location under the town hall Dunse
Map location exact or closely approximate
Year opened 1816
Year closed unknown
Century of Operation 1800-1899
Building Type Town Hall
Remarks Town hall built 1816 to replace an earlier structure. Demolished in 1966.
'The only prison at this place is a small lock-up house under the Town-hall. Prisoners who are confined otherwise than for examination are sent to Greenlaw ... The lock-up house at Dunse consists of a single room, about 15 feet long, 8 feet broad and 8 feet high; built of stone and arched over. It is below the ground, and, in certain states of the weather, is evidently damp. At these times, however, a room at the top of the Town-hall is occasionally used. This latter room is dry, but not secure; and, five or six years ago, two prisoners (in confinement for a petty offence) made their escape from it. Even as respects prisoners in the lower room, it is found necessary to have a guard constantly on watch when any one is in confinement on a serious charge, as the small windows at the top of the room open upon the public street, and are level with the ground ... The facility of communication with the street affords the means, of course, of getting whiskey into the prison. I found the room moderately clean. There is no fireplace, however, or no other means of warming it, and the windows are unglazed. For bedding the prisoners are supplied with loose straw, and a pair of blankets.'
Inspectors of Prisons of Great Britain IV. Scotland, Northumberland and Durham, Third Report (Parl. Papers, 1837-38, XXXI.299), p. 20
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