Saturday, 23 March 2013

WILTSHIRE. Lock-ups at Steeple Ashton, Trowbridge and Warminster.

The tiny lock-up at Steeple Ashton is known as the Guard House and stands on the village green in the High Street, BA14 6EU alongside the village cross. It dates to the early 18th century although there is no firm date.



OS Grid Reference: ST9068256891
OS Grid Coordinates: 390682, 156891
Latitude/Longitude: 51.3111, -2.1351

Photo by Colin Sinnott

It was Grade 11 listed 29.1.1988 (No.435508) and described as :

Blind house or lock-up. Probably early C18. Limestone ashlar. Octagonal.
Chamfered plinth, planked door with strap hinges on north side, plat band to
domed octagonal roof with ball finial to apex.
Good unaltered example of a Wiltshire blind house .
Listing NGR: ST9068256890
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.
Photo by Roy Pledger
The top hinge of the tiny door is angled to facilitate the opening of the hinged grille 
for access to the incumbent at feeding time


The lock-up or Blind House at Trowbridge has been in the wars literally. Having been damaged in a riot in 1826, it also suffered from a bomb blast in 1942, which caused the roof to collapse. It is situated in Wicker  Hill, BA14 8JS with drainage into the River Bliss. It dates to c1758 and was used until 1854 being restored in 1950 and 1977.


OS Grid Reference: ST8536058001
OS Grid Coordinates: 385360, 158001
Latitude/Longitude: 51.3209, -2.2115

Photo by Mike Bardell with expressed permission.

 I am grateful to Mike Bardell for sending me this nice photograph.
It was Grade 11 listed 29.1.1950 (No.314193) and described as :
Formerly dated 1757, called The Blind House. Damaged in riots 1826 and in
1942 by bomb blast. Now restored. Single storey, square stone block with
stepped coping to square dome with ball finial. Panel of rusticated stone
to road. Open gabled stone porch, stout plank door, formerly iron clad
and nailstudded.
Listing NGR: ST8536058001

Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.  

Further photographs by Colin Sinnott

From time to time lock-ups are put up for sale and fall in to private ownership to be used as store rooms or indeed for conversion to domestic accomodation.  Sometimes the land on which the lock-up sits is sold for development and so the lock-up is transferred to private ownership. This seems to be the case at Warminster where the intact lock-up is now preserved in a private yard. 


OS Grid Reference: ST8693045145
OS Grid Coordinates: 386930, 145145
Latitude/Longitude: 51.2054, -2.1885

Photo by Colin Sinnott with expressed permission.

It is situated at 1 Church Street, BA12 8PQ, close to the obelisk, within PRIVATE PROPERTY and dates to the 18th century. The actual date is not known but it seems to have replaced a 17th century structure. The building was subsequently used for smoking bacon before being incorporated into a  garage.  It is not entirely clear but this lock-up seems to have been acquired as an extension to a commercial garage, and when the site was used to build domestic accomodation the lock-up survived.
An interesting feature of this one seems to be that the roof finial is in fact a cover for air vents.

Photo by Sarah Buttenshaw with expressed permission.

The lock-up was Grade 11 listed 28.4.1952  (No.312854) and described as :

Part of No 1 Church Street. Former lock-up. C17 or C18 replaced. 1 storey
circular to eaves; rubble with ashlar door surround, slightly pointed domical
old tile roof over brick dome vault, with round stone cap. Now partly incorporated
in a modern garage. The structure appears to be complete, and is similar to
that at Heytesbury .

Listing NGR: ST8693045145

Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.



Photo by Phil Williams on Geograph

 Copyright Phil Williams and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

I am grateful to Colin Sinnott, Sarah Buttenshaw and Phil Williams for the use of their photo's



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