Lyme Regis Borough Lock Up

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Overview

Alternative Names   Lyme Regis Cockmoil

Nation   England

County   Dorset

Location   Guildhall, Bridge Street  Lyme Regis

Map location   exact or closely approximate

Year opened   unknown

Year closed   c1887

Century of Operation   1700-1799, 1800-1899

Building Type   Town Hall

Remarks   There has been a Guildhall on this site in Bridge Street since Elizabethan times. The current Guildhall was rebuilt in 1887, though some original features were retained, including, presumably, the entrance to the lock-up. It is not clear whether the lock-up was still in use either immediately before or after this reconstruction. In 1835, the Commissioners of the inquiry into Municipal Corporations suggested that the lock-up was previously used as a gaol too, but this remains unconfirmed. The 19th century writer, G. Roberts, suggested that the unusual name 'Cockmoil' by which the lock-up and adjoining square was known, may have derived from its former use as a house of correction - again this remains unconfirmed.

Descriptions

'There is a Gaol under the town hall, which was probably made use of in former times, it is now used only as a lock-up house.'

Royal Commission of Inquiry into Municipal Corporations of England and Wales, First Report, Appendices: Part 2 (Parl. Papers, 1835, XXIII.133), p.1310

'Rebuilt 1887, incorporating early C16 to Cl7 fittings from the previous building. Inside, and within 1st floor chambers, some Cl7 fittings eg dais-balustrade. ... On 1st floor, to right hand, paired sash to middle bay and overhanging bay window with gable over to west bay. 2 wide elliptical arches on columns to ground floor; to right hand end, narrower round headed doorway. To right hand again, a lower 2-storey bay; square grille on 1st floor; doorway containing original door to Cockmoil on ground floor.'

Historic England, National Heritage List for England, 'The Guildhall, Lyme Regis', LEN 1228691

'The Gaol, adjoining the Guildhall, has long since received the singular name of Cokenwhile, and if somewhere spelt Cockmoile, ingeniously considered to be a corruption of incog -a-while, — a term applied to it probably by some wag at its first erection. It however refers to the former custom, when it was a house of Cor- rection, of working from cock-crowing to sunset, moil meaning labour.'

G. Roberts, The History of Lyme Regis, Dorset, From the Earliest Periods to the Present Day, (London, 1823), p. 145

'There was a lock-up at Lyme Regis until about 1887. The Guildhall in Bridge Street, DT7 3AQ was built on the site in that year and only the old lock-up door remains at the side of the building. A sign over the door reads : ' THE DOOR OF THE OLD LOCK-UP WHICH STOOD HERE '.'

Roy's Blog, 'DORSET. lock-ups at Cerne Abbas, Corfe Castle, Gillingham, Okeford Fitzpatrick, Poole, Swanage & Lyme Regis.' (26 May 2013) (http://roys-roy.blogspot.com/2013/05/lock-ups-at-corfe-castle-gillingham.html)

Featured Images

  • Lyme Regis Guidhall, exterior, front. Lock-up situated on ground floor. Entrance to the lock-up via a door on the wall facing Bridge Street (left of main entrance)(c) Rosalind Crone
  • Door to the lock-up, opening on to Bridge Street(c) Rosalind Crone
  • Close-up of door to the lock-up, showing plaque above the lintel, which reads 'The door of the old lock up which stood here'.(c) Rosalind Crone
  • Lyme Regis Guildhall. The old lock up door, with inscription, is the first opening to street level on the left-hand side of the image.Photo © Bill Harrison (cc-by-sa/2.0)

Description: Lyme Regis Guidhall, exterior, front. Lock-up situated on ground floor. Entrance to the lock-up via a door on the wall facing Bridge Street (left of main entrance)

Photo by: (c) Rosalind Crone

Description: Door to the lock-up, opening on to Bridge Street

Photo by: (c) Rosalind Crone

Description: Close-up of door to the lock-up, showing plaque above the lintel, which reads 'The door of the old lock up which stood here'.

Photo by: (c) Rosalind Crone

Description: Lyme Regis Guildhall. The old lock up door, with inscription, is the first opening to street level on the left-hand side of the image.

Photo by: Photo © Bill Harrison (cc-by-sa/2.0)

SOURCES

    Account of Gaols, Houses of Correction or Penitentiaries in the United Kingdom, 1818 (Parl. Papers, 1819, XVII.371), p.12
  • Eighth Report of the Committee of the Society for the Improvement of Prison Discipline and for the Reformation of Juvenile Offenders (London, 1832), Appendix, p.11
  • Inspectors of Prisons of Great Britain III. Southern and Western District, Tenth Report (Parl. Papers, 1845, XXIV.207), p.106
  • Reports and Schedules Pursuant to Gaol Acts (1829, XIX.401), p.44
  • Return of Places of Confinement Outside Gaol Acts in England and Wales (Parl. Papers, 1833, XXVIII.425), p.67
  • Royal Commission of Inquiry into Municipal Corporations of England and Wales, First Report, Appendices: Part 2 (Parl. Papers, 1835, XXIII.133), p.1310
  • Roy's Blog, 'DORSET. lock-ups at Cerne Abbas, Corfe Castle, Gillingham, Okeford Fitzpatrick, Poole, Swanage & Lyme Regis.' (26 May 2013)

  • http://roys-roy.blogspot.com/2013/05/lock-ups-at-corfe-castle-gillingham.html
  • Historic England, National Heritage List for England, 'The Guildhall, Lyme Regis', LEN 1228691

  • https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1228691
  • G. Roberts, The History of Lyme Regis, Dorset, From the Earliest Periods to the Present Day, (London, 1823), p. 145

Comments

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