Wednesday, 1 May 2013

CORNWALL. Lock-ups at Callington, Cambourne and Launceston.

Returning now to the West Country, there are a few lock-ups remaining in Cornwall where they are often referred to as 'The Clink'.

The lock-up at Callington, known as The Clink, is situated in Tillie Street, PL17 7AD and dates to 1851 (datestone) only just before the Cornwall Constabulary was formed. With the Vestry Room above, it cost £60 to build and has been completely restored for use as offices.

 OS Grid Reference: SX3584769633
OS Grid Coordinates: 235847, 69633
Latitude/Longitude: 50.5034, -4.3162
Photo by Peter Goodchild with expressed permission.
I am grateful to Peter Goodchild (Sir Lose-a-lot) for allowing me to use his photograph on (Retired Prisons) and for the following description:
"The Old Clink or lockup was built in 1851 at a cost of £60. It had two cells for drunks and vagrants on the ground floor. The upper floor was used as the Vestry room where the relieving officers, together with the parish overseers, presided over the payment of poor relief to the "Out Poor" of the parish.
By 1866 the Old Clink had been replaced by a rather forbidding Victorian police station in Tavistock road. The cells in the new police station were every bit as unpleasant as the ones in the Old Clink.
The Old Clink gradually fell into disrepair and was in real danger of collapse. The rear wall was shored up for many years and the building closed. The building has recently undergone complete renovation and will now be let as a commercial office of one sort or another. This will insure that this quaint old building survives in the 21st century".
It was Grade 11 listed 26.11.1985 (No.61228) and described as :
 Vestry room and 2 lock-up cells used as a store. 1851 (datestone) at cost of £60
paid by John Couch Johns. Rubblestone with large granite quoins. String between
ground and first floor. Slate roof with gabled ends to north, south and east.
Projecting stone stack on west with shaft removed. Square plan with 2 rectangular
cells on ground floor and single vestry room on first. 2 storeys, asymmetrical south
front. Entrances to cells under 4-centred cut stone arches with original heavy
planked doors and fanlights above. Bars to fanlight removed on right. First floor;
2-light casement with pointed Gothic glazing bars. Granite lintel. 4-centred
granite arch doorway to right with plank door approached by external stone rubble
steps. East side; 3-light casement with pointed Gothic glazing bars and datestone
above in gable end. North side with similar casement. Ground rises to north to
enclose ground floor. Rubblestone walls extending to south to enclose area in front
of clink. Large 4-centred cut granite arch with incised spandrels forming entrance
in centre on south.
In 1851 Henry Bullen was appointed Parish Constable and used the 2 lock-up cells for
drunks and vagrants. Vestry room was used by the relieving officers, with the
overseer in attendance, when distributing weekly to the 'Out Poor'.
Sheila Lightbody The Book of Callington 1982 '.
Listing NGR: SX3585069636

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


The lock-up at Cambourne is also part of the Parish Vestry Building.
Situated in Church Lane, TR14 7DF, it dates to 1820 (Datestone).
OS Grid Reference: SW6456939984
OS Grid Coordinates: 164569, 39984
Latitude/Longitude: 50.2129, -5.3012
Photo by Ivor Corkhill with expressed permission.
I am grateful to Ivor Corkhill, Cambourne Old Cornwall Society for sending me this photograph.
THE FORMER PARISH VESTRYGo left into Church Lane. On your left is the former Parish Vestry and local ‘clink’. The Parish Vestry is a Grade II listed building which was built in 1820. The first floor served as a school and also hosted parish meetings. The ground floor area had a ‘clink’, a lock-up for temporary incarceration of wrongdoers. The building was probably erected as a result of Sturges Bourne’s Act of 1819, which gave parishes the power to appoint select vestries “for more effectual execution of the laws for the relief of the poor”. Rates were also paid at the Vestry room at one time. The building has until recently been vacant and in a poor state of repair. In 2010 a grant from the Camborne, Roskear and Tuckingmill Townscape Heritage Initiative assisted with a complete renovation of this building using traditional materials and techniques. The building is currently being used by community groups as offices.
It was Grade 11 listed 12.9.1989 (No.66576) and described as :
Parish Vestry building. Dated 1820 on lintel of former door in rear wall,
altered. Facade of snecked killas rubble with granite quoins but covered
with render above ground floor, sides and rear of uncoursed rubble; slate
roof. Rectangular plan, gable to road but facing churchyard, with added
porch at north end. Two storeys; the facade to the churchyard is of 3 bays
under 2 gables, symmetrical, in Tudor style, with 3 wide Tudor-arched
openings at ground floor (a window and 2 doorways) and 3 windows at 1st
floor, all with chamfered surrounds and hoodmoulds and all the windows of
2 lights with chamfered mullions and diamond leaded glazing (but that at
ground floor boarded at time of survey, 1988); a rectangular granite panel
in each gable, and gable copings with apex finials. The left (north) gable
wall has a flight of external steps to a doorway at 1st floor, protected by
a brick porch of c.1900; and to the left of this a large rendered panel
with pilastered architrave and stilted segmental head enclosing raised
lettering "PARISH VESTRY". The rear has inter alia a former doorway with
lintel inscribed "1820". Interior not inspected. History: ground floor was
used as lock-up 1820-1858. Probably erected in consequence of Sturges
Bourne's Act of 1819, which empowered parishes to appoint select vestries
"for more effectual execution of the laws for the relief of the poor" (the
style being a reference to the Tudor origins of the Poor law); as such, a
rare survival of a building for this purpose, and the earliest Local
Government building in the area covered by this list.
Listing NGR: SW6457039984

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


The lock-up at Launceston is one of those situated in a town 'gate'. There are two chambers, one on top of the other, over the main arch of the South Gate, Southgate Street, PL15 9DX. The Gate dates to the 14th century and it was used as a lock-up until the early 19th century. It is accessed through a low studded door which has a rectangular aperture cut into it with a hinged iron cover with two pierced flanges which fit over staples to take padlocks.


OS Grid Reference: SX3324184537
OS Grid Coordinates: 233241, 84537
Latitude/Longitude: 50.6366, -4.3596

Photo by Tony Atkin
 © Copyright Tony Atkin and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

The Gate was Grade 1 listed 27.2.1950 (No.370119) and described as :
Town gate. C14, slightly remodelled C17, pedestrian gate added
1887. Dressed volcanic agglomerate stone and greenstone to
lower half, otherwise slatestone rubble with volcanic
agglomerate dressings plus C17 granite dressings; pyramidal
rag slate roof behind late C19 embattled parapet; stone stack
over left-hand (west) wall removed C20: two square rooms over
main gateway approached by stone staircase bridging smaller
gateway. 3 storeys; 1-window range outer elevation and similar
inner elevation. Both elevations have 2 chamfered pointed
arches, the main arch fronting ribbed vaults; C17 three-light
granite mullions with hoodmoulds to upper floors. Outer SE
front has narrower pedestrian gateway on its left and main
gateway with portcullis slots over. To outer side of passage
are remnants of arch dated 1639 and fragments of tracery.
Water point dated 1825 and inscribed "PCH" for Parr Cunningham
Hocking, Mayor of that time, to right of inner elevation; this
was the towns first public water supply. INTERIOR not
inspected. HISTORY: until the early C19 the rooms of the South
Gate were used as a gaol for petty offenders and a prison for
(Robbins AF: Launceston, Past and Present: Launceston: 1888-:
Listing NGR: SX3324184537

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

Photo by Robin Drayton
© Copyright Robin Drayton and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
I am grateful to Tony Atkin and Robin Drayton for the use of their Geograph photographs.

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