Your Stories

The Bridewells of Hitchin

A History of Local Imprisonment, by Simon Walker The first recorded bridewell in Hitchin lay at the lower end of Tylers (Tilehouse) Street, next to the workhouse, between the junctions of Sun Street and Bucklesbury, and on the south side…

Playing Cards Created by Prisoners at Wymondham Bridewell

Neil Haverson, one of the curators at Wymondham Heritage Museum, tells us the fascinating story of the creation of set of playing cards from the pages of the New Testament by female prisoners confined in the Wymondham County Bridewell. On…

Gaols and Lock-Ups in Neath

Martyn J. Griffiths, from the Neath Antiquarian Society, tells us more about the gaols and lock-ups in Neath, between the 14th and the 20th century. The earliest goal in Neath was probably inside the castle.  The castle had fallen into…

Halliwell Lock-Up

On hearing our call for help to fill our Local Lock-ups Database , Margaret Koppens, secretary of the Halliwell Local History Society, Bolton, got in touch to tell us about her local lock-up… A recent edition of the quarterly magazine…

Help us identify this prison – Updated

We have a photograph taken outside a prison in the early to mid-20th century. Can you help us identify it? One of our Prison History subscribers got in touch with a photograph she found in her family’s archive. It is…

Tynemouth House of Correction

As Newcastle City Guides, Keiran-Ann Keilty and Susan Lynn regularly undertake research for their walking tours. This is their research into the Tynemouth House of Correction. The Tynemouth Correction House and Justice Room is a rare example of a court…

Lincoln Castle Prison

Kelvin Pickford, volunteer at Lincoln Castle, shares some of his favourite vistas of Lincoln Prison on a sunny, Spring afternoon. Lincoln Castle was used as a gaol from early times. In 1788, a county gaol was constructed in the Castle…

Cranford’s Village Lock-up

Paige Chaplin from Heritage of London Trust, reveals the story behind the restoration of a rare historical monument in 21st century London. Cranford’s village lock-up housed many criminals before the area gained a police force. Located just off the old…

Phrases and sayings – from Prison History Part 2

Thanks to local historian and regular Prison History contributor, Rob Keep, we have some more phrases and sayings from prison history to share: 1. Go West Tyburn was west of Newgate Prison, and prisoners taking the journey to the gallows…

Phrases and sayings – from prison history

Ever wondered where the phrases and sayings we use in everyday conversation come from? Well, at least some have their origins in prison history! Andy Griffin treats us to a description of a few – can you think of any…