19th Century Prison History : 19th Century Prison Search

Royston Cage – Fish Hill

Overview

Location   Fish Hill,  Royston

County   Hertfordshire

Year Opened   1793

Year Closed   1897

Century of Operation   1700-1799, 1800-1899

Remarks   The cage may have fallen into disuse before its demolition in 1897

Further information can be found at
https://www.prisonhistory.org/lockup/royston-cage-fish-hill/

Descriptions

  • '[the stocks and cage] were removed at a later date to the Fish-hill, when an addition was made to the west side of the Parish-room, for the purpose, where the fire engines are now placed. [There was an] estimate in the parish books for the erection of a cage and stocks in Royston, Herts., at a cost of £10, in the year 1793...At the old cage on the west side of the present Parish-room in Royston, Herts., many persons living remember some curious expedients of this kind. While the prisoner was waiting for removal to the Buntingford Bridewell (situate in the Wyddial Lane not far from the river bridge) to undergo his fortnight of such hard labour as the rules of that curious establishment exacted—while waiting in the Cage the prisoner's friends would help him in this way. Above the door of the Cage were some narrow upright openings, and through this a saucer was inserted edgewise, the prisoner took it and held it, while, by means of a teapot and the thrusting the spout through the openings, a good "drink" could be administered, according to the appetite of the prisoner!'
    Alfred Kingston, Fragments of Two Centuries: Glimpses of Country Life When George III. Was King. Royston: Warren Brothers. 1893

  • '[The Ordnance Survey Map of 1887] wrongly subdivides The Cage into two properties...The Cage and the old Fire Station had been demolished to make room for the Jubilee Fire Station in 1897.'
    Keith J. Fitzpatrick-Matthews and Siân U O’Neill, Observation of works at Fish Hill Square, Royston, Hertfordshire, 2011. North Herts District Council Museums Service. 2012

Sources

  • Alfred Kingston, Fragments of Two Centuries: Glimpses of Country Life When George III. Was King. Royston: Warren Brothers. 1893
    https://www.gutenberg.org/files/21352/21352-h/21352-h.htm#img-087