Location Castle Street, opposite the poor house (later National School) Tonbridge
Map location exact or closely approximate
Year opened unknown
Year closed 1864
Century of Operation 1800-1899
Building Type Lock-Up
Remarks This lock-up, and a second in Barden Road (https://www.prisonhistory.org/lockup/tonbridge-cage-2/), were replaced by cells in a new police station on Pembury Road in 1864 (https://www.prisonhistory.org/lockup/tonbridge-police-station/). An historic map, published in the 1930s, provides the exact position of the lock-up - at the junction of Castle Street and Bank Street, opposite the Poor House.
'They [the two old cages] are remembered by a few venerable residents as small square buildings of red brick, whose substantial oak doors were generously studded with iron nails and whose square iron gratings not only admitted light and air, but facilitated the supply of refreshments to those within. One of these cages was in Castle-square, nearly opposite the old poor house, and this sufficed for many years for the accommodation of local "drunks" and other minor offenders. After the arrival of the railway the population at the south end of town increased and more lock-up accommodation was considered necessary, so a second "cage" was built.'
Arthur H. Neve, The Tonbridge of Yesterday (Tonbridge Free Press, 1933), p. 273
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Archive name: Kent History & Library Centre
Catalogue ref: Q/GB/20
Collection: Kent Quarter Sessions
Description: Prison documents (West Kent). Letter about repair of Tonbridge Cage.