Lancaster Castle County Gaol

Overview

Details

Records

Overview

Alternative Names   Lancaster Castle County Gaol and Bridewell, Lancaster Prison, HMP Lancaster

Prison Type   Local Prison -  Common Gaol

Jurisdiction   County

Date opened   1745 [medieval]

Date closed   post 1900 (1916 - but reopened 1955 until 2011)

Location   Lancaster Castle   Lancaster

Map location   exact or closely approximate

County   Lancashire

Critical Remarks

Lancaster Castle was used as a prison from medieval times. In 1745 it officially became the county gaol.

Prison Info

Alternative Names   Lancaster Castle County Gaol and Bridewell, Lancaster Prison, HMP Lancaster

Prison Type   Local Prison

Jurisdiction   County

Date opened   1745 [medieval]

Date closed   post 1900 (1916 - but reopened 1955 until 2011)

Location   Lancaster Castle   Lancaster

Map location   exact or closely approximate
Lat.   54.0496694  Long.   -2.8059937

County   Lancashire

Critical Remarks

Lancaster Castle was used as a prison from medieval times. In 1745 it officially became the county gaol.

Prisoner Statistics

 

Year 1818

Annual Committed   -   466

Daily Greatest number   -   584

 

Year 1823

Annual Committed   -   853

Daily Census   -   286

 

Year 1828

Annual Committed   -   815

Daily Census   -   342

 

Year 1833

Annual Committed   -   901

Daily Census   -   428

 

Year 1838

Annual Confined   -   1122

Daily Census   -   449

 

Year 1843

Annual Confined   -   1511

Daily Census   -   495

 

Year 1848

Annual Confined   -   1223

Daily Daily average   -   316

 

Year 1853

Annual Confined   -   1008

Daily Daily average   -   153

 

Year 1858

Annual Committed   -   968

Daily Daily average   -   191

 

Year 1863

Annual Committed   -   875

Daily Greatest number   -   151

 

Year 1868

Annual Committed   -   2383

Daily Daily average   -   208

 

Year 1873

Annual Committed   -   1935

Daily Daily average   -   189

 

Year 1878

Annual Committed   -   1582

Daily Daily average   -   184

 

Year 1883

Annual Committed   -   840

Daily Daily average   -   64

 

Year 1888

Annual Committed   -   994

Daily Daily average   -   75

 

Year 1893

Annual Committed   -   1045

Daily   -  

 

Year 1898

Annual Committed   -   1810

Daily   -  

Principal Primary Sources

  • James Neild, The State of the Prisons of England, Scotland and Wales (London, 1812), p.322
  • Account of Gaols, Houses of Correction or Penitentiaries in the United Kingdom, 1818 (Parl. Papers, 1819, XVII.371), p.26
  • The Third Report of the Committee of the Society for the Improvement of Prison Discipline and for the Reformation of Juvenile Offenders (London, 1821), Appendix, p.35; Fourth Report of the Committee of the Society for the Improvement of Prison Discipline and for the Reformation of Juvenile Offenders (London, 1822), Appendix, p.30; Fifth Report of the Committee of the Society for the Improvement of Prison Discipline and for the Reformation of Juvenile Offenders (London, 1823), Appendix, p.45; Sixth Report of the Committee of the Society for the Improvement of Prison Discipline and for the Reformation of Juvenile Offenders (London, 1824), Appendix, p.55; Seventh Report of the Committee of the Society for the Improvement of Prison Discipline and for the Reformation of Juvenile Offenders (London, 1827), Appendix, p.68; 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.20
  • Reports and Schedules Pursuant to Gaol Acts (Parl. Papers, 1824, XIX.359), p.136; Reports and Schedules Pursuant to Gaol Acts (Parl. Papers, 1825, XXIII.1), p.134; Reports and Schedules Pursuant to Gaol Acts (Parl. Papers, 1826, XXIV.1), p.134; Reports and Schedules Pursuant to Gaol Acts (Parl. Papers, 1826-27, XIX.365), p.126; Reports and Schedules Pursuant to Gaol Acts (Parl. Papers, 1828, XX.327), p.136; Reports and Schedules Pursuant to Gaol Acts (Parl. Papers, 1829, XIX.1), p.127; Reports and Schedules Pursuant To Gaol Acts (Parl. Papers, 1830, XXIV.1), p.123; Reports and Schedules Pursuant to Gaol Acts (Parl. Papers, 1830-31, XII.1), p.119; Reports and Schedules Pursuant to Gaol Acts (Parl. Papers, 1831-32. XXXIII.197), p.121; Reports and Schedules Pursuant to Gaol Acts (Parl. Papers, 1833, XXVIII.1), p.128; Reports and Schedules Pursuant to Gaol Acts (Parl. Papers, 1834, XLVI.1), p.118; Reports and Schedules Pursuant to Gaol Acts (Parl. Papers, 1835, XLIV.225), p.120; Reports and Schedules Pursuant to Gaol Acts (Parl. Papers, 1836, XLII.1), p.77; Reports and Schedules Pursuant to Gaol Acts (Parl. Papers, 1837, XLV.1), p.80; Reports and Schedules Pursuant to Gaol Acts (Parl. Papers, 1837-8, XLIII.227), p.85; Reports and Schedules Pursuant to Gaol Acts (Parl. Papers, 1839, XXXVIII.17), p.80; Reports Pursuant to Gaol Acts (Parl. Papers, 1840, XXXVIII.1), p.90; Reports and Schedules Pursuant to Gaol Acts (Parl. Papers, 1841, XVIII.1), p.93; Reports and Schedules Pursuant to Gaol Acts (Parl. Papers, 1842, XXXII.1), p.94; Reports and Schedules Pursuant to Gaol Acts (Parl. Papers, 1843, XLIII.1), p.95; Reports and Schedules Pursuant to Gaol Acts (Parl. Papers, 1844, XXXIX.403), p.92; Reports and Schedules Pursuant to Gaol Acts (Parl. Papers, 1845, XXXVII.417), p.114; Reports and Schedules Pursuant to Gaol Acts (Parl. Papers, 1846, XXXIV.187), p.104; Reports and Schedules Pursuant to Gaol Acts (Parl. Papers, 1847, XLVII.297), p.119; Reports and Schedules Pursuant to Gaol Acts (Parl. Papers, 1847-48, LII.465), p.122
  • Royal Commission of Inquiry into Municipal Corporations of England and Wales, First Report, Appendices: Part 3 (Parl. Papers, 1835, XXIV.1), p.1608
  • Abstract Return of Establishment and Expenditure of Gaols and Houses of Correction in England and Wales (Parl. Papers, 1840, XXXVIII.241), p.24
  • Inspectors of Prisons of Great Britain II. Northern and Eastern District, Second Report (Parl. Papers, 1837, XXXII.499), p.38; Inspectors of Prisons of Great Britain II. Northern and Eastern District, Fourth Report (Parl. Papers, 1839, XXII.1), p.29; Inspectors of Prisons of Great Britain II. Northern and Eastern District, Sixth Report (Parl. Papers, 1841 Session 2, V.1), p.31; Inspectors of Prisons of Great Britain II. Northern and Eastern District, Eighth Report (Parl. Papers, 1843, XXV. & XXVI.249), p.83; Inspectors of Prisons of Great Britain II. Northern and Eastern District, Tenth Report (Parl. Papers, 1845, XXIV.1), p.35; Inspectors of Prisons of Great Britain IV. Northern District, Thirteenth Report (Parl. Papers, 1847-8, XXXVI.361), p.9; Inspectors of Prisons of Great Britain II. Northern and Eastern District, Fifteenth Report (Parl. Papers, 1850, XXVIII.291), p.233; Inspectors of Prisons of Great Britain II. Northern and Eastern District, Sixteenth Report (Parl. Papers, 1851, XXVII.461), p.20; Inspectors of Prisons of Great Britain II. Northern and Eastern District, Seventeenth Report (Parl. Papers, 1852-53, LII.1), p.21; Inspectors of Prisons of Great Britain II. Northern and Eastern District, Eighteenth Report (Parl. Papers, 1856, XXXIII.1), p.17; Inspectors of Prisons of Great Britain II. Northern and Eastern District, Nineteenth Report (Parl. Papers, 1856, XXXIII.385), p.24; Inspectors of Prisons of Great Britain III. Northern District, Twenty-third Report (Parl. Papers, 1857-58, XXIX.209), p.55; Inspectors of Prisons of Great Britain III. Northern District, Twenty-fourth Report (Parl. Papers, 1859, Session 1, XI.213), p.46; Inspectors of Prisons of Great Britain III. Northern District, Twenty-fifth Report (Parl. Papers, 1860, XXXV.381), p.36; Inspectors of Prisons of Great Britain III. Northern District, Twenty-eighth Report (Parl. Papers, 1863, XXIII.109), p.59; Inspectors of Prisons of Great Britain II. Northern District, Twenty-ninth Report (Parl. Papers, 1864, XXVI.89), p.18; Inspectors of Prisons of Great Britain II. Northern District, Thirtieth Report (Parl. Papers, 1865, XXIII.257), p.28; Inspectors of Prisons of Great Britain II. Northern District, Thirty-first Report (Parl. Papers, 1866, XXXVII.233), p.31; Inspectors of Prisons of Great Britain II. Northern District, Thirty-fourth Report (Parl. Papers, 1871, XXIX.1), p.22; Inspectors of Prisons of Great Britain II. Northern District, Thirty-fifth Report (Parl. Papers, 1871, XXIX.529), p.24; Inspectors of Prisons of Great Britain II. Northern District, Thirty-sixth Report (Parl. Papers, 1872, XXXI.169), p.13; Inspectors of Prisons of Great Britain II. Northern District, Thirty-seventh Report (Parl. Papers, 1873, XXXII.337), p.22; Inspectors of Prisons of Great Britain II. Northern District, Thirty-eighth Report (Parl. Papers, 1874, XXIX.389), p.33; Inspectors of Prisons of Great Britain II. Northern District, Thirty-ninth Report (Parl. Papers, 1875, XXXVII.417), p.34; Inspectors of Prisons of Great Britain II. Northern District, Fortieth Report (Parl. Papers, 1876, XXXV.417), p.34; Inspectors of Prisons of Great Britain II. Northern District, Forty-first Report (Parl. Papers, 1877, XLIII.421), p.34; Inspectors of Prisons of Great Britain II. Northern District, Forty-second Report (Parl. Papers, 1878, XLI.417), p.34
  • Commissioners of Prisons, Second Annual Report (Parl. Papers, 1878-79, XXXIV.1, 97), p.38; Commissioners of Prisons, Third Annual Report (Parl. Papers, 1880, XXXV.1,73), p.48; Commissioners of Prisons, Fourth Annual Report (Parl. Papers, 1881, LI.441, 521), p.50; Commissioners of Prisons, Fifth Annual Report (Parl. Papers, 1882, XXXIII.443, 541), p.55; Commissioners of Prisons, Sixth Annual Report (Parl. Papers, 1883, XXXI.445, 579), p.60; Commissioners of Prisons, Seventh Annual Report (Parl. Papers, 1884, XLII.461, 551), p.57; Commissioners of Prisons, Eighth Annual Report (Parl. Papers, 1884-85, XXXVII.527, 651), p.57; Commissioners of Prisons, Ninth Annual Report (Parl. Papers, 1886, XXXV.1, 93), p.51; Commissioners of Prisons, Tenth Annual Report (Parl. Papers, 1887, XLI.203, 335), p.47; Commissioners of Prisons, Eleventh Annual Report (Parl. Papers, 1888, LVIII.1, 209), p.46; Commissioners of Prisons, Twelfth Annual Report (Parl. Papers, 1889, XLI.1, 181), p.46; Commissioners of Prisons, Thirteenth Annual Report (Parl. Papers, 1890, XXXVII.1, 183), p.46; Commissioners of Prisons, Fourteenth Annual Report (Parl. Papers, 1890-91, XLIII.1, 125), p.44; Commissioners of Prisons, Fifteenth Annual Report (Parl. Papers, 1892, XLII.1, 147), p.43; Commissioners of Prisons, Sixteenth Annual Report (Parl. Papers, 1893-94, XLVII.1, 121), p.42; Commissioners of Prisons, Seventeenth Annual Report (Parl. Papers, 1894, XLIV.1, 183), p.41; Commissioners of Prisons, Eighteenth Annual Report (Parl. Papers, 1895, LVI.727, 865), p.42
  • Report of Coms. of Prisons and Directors of Convict Prisons, 1895-96 (Parl. Papers, 1896, XLIV.235), p.105; Report of Coms. of Prisons and Directors of Convict Prisons, 1896-97 (Parl. Papers, 1897, XL.105), p.247; Report of Coms. of Prisons and Directors of Convict Prisons, 1897-98 (Parl. Papers, 1898, XLVII.23), p.273; Report of Coms. of Prisons and Directors of Convict Prisons, 1898-99 (Parl. Papers, 1899, XLIII.65), p.273; Report of Coms. of Prisons and Directors of Convict Prisons, 1899-1900 (Parl. Papers, 1900, XLI.1), p.313

Secondary Sources

  • https://historicengland.org.uk/services-skills/education/educational-images/lancaster-castle-castle-parade-lancaster-383090; http://www.lancastercastle.com/

Management

Archive name: Lancashire Archives

Catalogue ref: QGR/1/3, 8, 15, 21, 30

Collection: Lancashire Quarter Sessions

Description: Chaplain's reports

Dates: 1823-1830


Archive name: Devon Heritage Centre

Catalogue ref: 152M/C1812/OH70-74

Collection: Addington family, Viscounts Sidmouth

Description: Prisons, Lancaster. Includes reports and correspondence relating to the arrival of a commission in Lancaster to prepare report on the Gaol. Also, complaints about the 'tyrannical Gaoler', and petition of debtors (1812).

Dates: 1812


Archive name: Lancashire Archives

Catalogue ref: QGR/1/4, 11, 16

Collection: Lancashire Quarter Sessions

Description: Gaoler's reports

Dates: 1823-1826


Archive name: Lancashire Archives

Catalogue ref: QGR/1/5, 12, 17, 22, 25, 31, 34

Collection: Lancashire Quarter Sessions

Description: Surgeon's reports

Dates: 1823-1831


Archive name: Barrow Archive and Local Studies Centre

Catalogue ref: BDFELL/13/17

Collection: Fell family papers

Description: Correspondence including proposal to close the Prison at Lancaster Castle

Dates: 1898-1909


Archive name: Lancashire Archives

Catalogue ref: DDHU 53/59

Collection: Hulton of Hulton

Description: Letters and other papers concerning the treatment of prisoners in Lancaster Castle

Dates: 1820


Archive name: Lancashire Archives

Catalogue ref: QGR/1/1, 6, 9, 13, 18, 19, 23, 28, 32, 35, 36, 38, 40

Collection: Lancashire Quarter Sessions

Description: General Reports

Dates: 1823-1840


Archive name: Lancashire Archives

Catalogue ref: QGR/1/2, 7, 10, 14, 20, 24, 29, 33, 37, 39, 41

Collection: Lancashire Quarter Sessions

Description: Returns

Dates: 1823-1840


Archive name: Lancashire Archives

Catalogue ref: QGR/1/27

Collection: Lancashire Quarter Sessions

Description: Return of cost of medicine

Dates: 1829


Archive name: Lancashire Archives

Catalogue ref: QGR/1/42

Collection: Lancashire Quarter Sessions

Description: Report on Prison discipline and accommodation

Dates: 1852


Archive name: Lancashire Archives

Catalogue ref: QGV/1/11

Collection: Lancashire Quarter Sessions

Description: Resolution of Annual General Sessions as to the Dietary of Lancaster Castle. 20 Oct 1847

Dates: 1847


Archive name: Norfolk Record Office

Catalogue ref: GTN 5/9/21

Collection: Harbord papers

Description: Letters to and from the Honurable Edward Harbord (including draft replies), and related correspondence. Includes Thomas Starkie (Inner Temple) to Edward Bootle Wilbraham MP (later 1st Lord Skelmersdale), Portland Place, re printed circular on Lancaster Castle Prison. 

Dates: 1819-1820


Archive name: The National Archives

Catalogue ref: PCOM2/447

Collection: Prison Commission

Description: Lancaster Gaol, Lancashire: accounts of charitable bequests

Dates: 1833-1874


Archive name: Lancashire Archives

Catalogue ref: QSP

Collection: Lancashire Quarter Sessions

Description: Series includes a vast amount of material on the administration of the county prisons, including: accounts and other financial records, Visiting Justices' reports; governors', surgeons', chaplains' and schoolmasters' reports; returns of prisoners; and staff appointments, salaries and dismissals. The catalogue contains detailed summaries at item level.

Dates: 1648-1908


Archive name: Lancashire Archives

Catalogue ref: QGV/1/2

Collection: Lancashire Quarter Sessions

Description: Resolutions of Justices visiting Lancaster Gaol

Dates: 1825


Finance

Archive name: Lancashire Archives

Catalogue ref: QGL/9

Collection: Lancashire Quarter Sessions

Description: Accounts of Prisoners' Charity Fund

Dates: 1833- 1874


Archive name: Lancashire Archives

Catalogue ref: QGR/1/43

Collection: Lancashire Quarter Sessions

Description: Estimate of the cost of one prison cell complete

Dates: 1852


Archive name: Lancashire Archives

Catalogue ref: QGV/1/1

Collection: Lancashire Quarter Sessions

Description: Bills, receipts and orders of Lancaster Gaol

Dates: 1818


Daily Business

Archive name: Lancashire Archives

Catalogue ref: QGL/3-6

Collection: Lancashire Quarter Sessions

Description: Governors' journals

Dates: 1815-1867


Archive name: Lancashire Archives

Catalogue ref: QGL/8

Collection: Lancashire Quarter Sessions

Description: Governor's Letter Book

Dates: 1849-1856


Archive name: The National Archives

Catalogue ref: PCOM 2/442-446

Collection: Prison Commission

Description: Governors' journals

Dates: 1815-1886


Archive name: Lancashire Archives

Catalogue ref: QGR/1/44

Collection: Lancashire Quarter Sessions

Description: Diary of Surgeon at Lancaster Castle (MICROFILM)

Dates: 1843-1849


Archive name: The National Archives

Catalogue ref: PCOM2/448

Collection: Prison Commission

Description: Lancaster Gaol, Lancashire: letter book

Dates: 1849-1856


Prisoners

Archive name: Lancashire Archives

Catalogue ref: QGL/2

Collection: Lancashire Quarter Sessions

Description: Register of prisoners from Assizes and Quarter Sessions

Dates: 1820-1826


Archive name: The National Archives

Catalogue ref: PCOM 2/456-7

Collection: Prison Commission

Description: Lancaster Gaol, Lancashire, register of defendants

Dates: 1884-1886, 1895-1902


Archive name: The National Archives

Catalogue ref: PCOM2/441

Collection: Prison Commission

Description: Lancaster Gaol, Lancashire: register of Crown cases

Dates: 1820-1826


Archive name: The National Archives

Catalogue ref: HO 47/53/6

Collection: None

Description: A list of male convicts under sentence of transportation in the Gaol at Lancaster for the County Palatine of Lancaster (29 April 1812)

Dates: 1812


Archive name: Barrow Archive and Local Studies Centre

Catalogue ref: ZS/405

Collection: None

Description: Lancaster Castle, sentences of crown prisoners

Dates: 1807


Archive name: Lancashire Archives

Catalogue ref: QGR/1/26

Collection: Lancashire Quarter Sessions

Description: Return of deaths

Dates: 1822-1829


Archive name: Lancashire Archives

Catalogue ref: QGV/1/5

Collection: Lancashire Quarter Sessions

Description: Petition of the prisoners in Lancaster Castle for allowance of the use of tobacco as cholera was prevalent

Dates: 1832


Archive name: Lancaster Central Library

Catalogue ref: 66

Collection: None

Description: Lancaster Castle, Gaol. Transportation orders, warrants, committals, pardons, returns, writs, orders. 

Dates: 1780-1881


Archive name: The National Archives

Catalogue ref: PL 28/5

Collection: Palatinate of Lancaster

Description: Minute books, series 1. Includes account of persons committed to Lancaster Castle Gaol for forgery (1792-January 1812), annual returns of prisoners.

Dates: 1792-1812


Land & Buildings

Archive name: Lancashire Archives

Catalogue ref: CCGJ/3

Collection: County Architects’ Department

Description: Record plan of Lancaster Castle Prison, showing positions of wings

Dates: 1879


Archive name: Lancashire Archives

Catalogue ref: QGB/1/5

Collection: Lancashire Quarter Sessions

Description: Records include Prison Commissioners relating to the possession of boundaries and rights of way of Lancaster Castle, witnessed by Robert Smith, R. Sidney Mitfrie, W. Hannane, John Benson. Also, heraldic seals. Plan of Lancaster Prison attached.

Dates: 1880


Archive name: The National Archives

Catalogue ref: PCOM 7/44

Collection: Prison Commission

Description: Antiquities. Lancaster Prison: disposal of articles including ancient keys of the Castle.

Dates: 1883-1901


Other

Archive name: Birmingham Archives & Collections

Catalogue ref: MS 1509/4/86

Collection: Albright family of Edgbaston

Description: Bundle of letters including some letters describing a visit to the Lake District and to Lancaster Castle and Gaol

Dates: 1829-1831