Location rear of Guildhall, Lady Street Lavenham
Map location exact or closely approximate
Year opened 1833
Year closed unknown
Century of Operation 1800-1899
Building Type Town Hall
Remarks In the care of the National Trust.
'LOCK-UP AND MORTUARY BUILDINGS These buildings were purchased by the National Trust from Lavenham Parish Council in 1992. They were in state of dilapidation and have been restored as thoroughly as possible to their original appearance. Information about their history is minimal but two facts are known as they were erected in 1833, and at that time they were within the boundary of the Guildhall premises. In 1833 the Guildhall was being used as a Workhouse and it would seem the Mortuary, and to some extent the Lock-up, were an integral part of the premises. The Workhouse had been in existence since 1787, and prior to that the building was used for 100 years as a Bridewell (prison). The Lock-up would also have been used for inmates of the Workhouse, or others who had been apprehended in the parish for some contravention of the law. They would be held here pending trial either by the local Justices of the Peace or by County Courts. It is significant that the Lock-up was built in 1833, around the time when the first police forces were evolving. They were an essential part of the more orderly system of crime prevention slowly developing, but still a long way from the system we know today.'
Information plaque, quoted by Roy's Blog, 'SUFFOLK. Lock-ups at Boxford, Lavenham, Sproughton and Stoke by Nayland.' (26 June 2013) (http://roys-roy.blogspot.com/2013/06/lock-ups-at-boxford-lavenham-sproughton.html)