19th Century Prison History : 19th Century Prison Search

Neath Police Station (James Street)

Overview

Location   James Street, off Angel Street,  Neath

County   Glamorganshire

Year Opened   c.1844

Year Closed   1862

Century of Operation   1800-1899

Remarks   The Borough Gaol is shown on an 1877 map on the south side of James Street. This road and surrounding area has now been subsumed by Morrisons Supermarket and its car park.

Morrisons, NeathPhoto © Alex McGregor (cc-by-sa/2.0)

Further information can be found at
https://www.prisonhistory.org/lockup/neath-police-station-james-street/

Description

  • '[A] new police station and gaol was built in James Street [c.1844]. It comprised of two identical wings, but sadly, the building proved to be a disaster. The chimney was poorly constructed and smoked whenever a fire was lit, and the gutter that ran underneath overflowed with raw sewage and manure. This piled up in the slaughterhouse yard behind the station...William Rees was the most experienced so was appointed the head police officer, but he was evidently reluctant to reside at the gaol house. This would have been understandable given the appalling conditions there. Nevertheless, an officer had to live there, and records show that this responsibility fell onto the new recruit Thomas Owens. Tragically, the cholera outbreak of 1849 killed Thomas Owens...[but] the borough did little to improve the conditions of the building and the county police station didn’t move to new premises until 1862. '
    South Wales Police Museum, 'History of the Neath Borough Police Force'.

Sources

  • South Wales Police Museum, 'History of the Neath Borough Police Force'.
    http://swplive.blob.core.windows.net/wordpress-uploads/19-HN-History-of-Neath-Police-Force.pdf South Wales Police Museum