Wednesday, 26 June 2013

BEDFORDSHIRE. Lock-ups at Blunham, Clophill, Harrold and Silsoe.


It appears that just four lock-ups are left in Bedfordshire.

The lock-up at Blunham is a rare survivor of its type being just a 'wooden hut' which is now preserved in a PRIVATE GARDEN. It is situated in the rear garden of 54 Park Lane, MK44 3NJ and has been fully restored. It was built in 1832 with half of the cost being met by Lady of the Manor, Countess de Gray, and the remainder by the church wardens. It was moved from its original site in 1862 when it had fallen into disuse and the site was used to build an engine house for the village fire engine.


 
BLUNHAM

OS Grid Reference: TL1519951121
OS Grid Coordinates: 515199, 251121
Latitude/Longitude: 52.1464, -0.3178

 
Photo's by Dave & Amanda Jones with expressed permission
 
 
It was Grade 11 listed 16.1.1952 (No.37941) and described as :
 
 Village lock-up. Mid C19. Small, gabled shed, constructed of substantial
planks. Roof also of planks, with metal sheeting, probably zinc, to ridge.
Plank door to S gable end, surmounted by small square grating. This lock-up
formerly stood in the village street. (Bedfordshire Record Office : Stocks
and Lock-Ups in Beds Villages, CRO 120).
Listing NGR: TL1519951121


Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence: PSI Click-use licence number C2008002006.
 
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
The date 1847 is carved inside the door
 
 
 


This plaque records the restoration in 2010
 
 
I am grateful to Dave & Amanda Jones for sending me these photographs and information.
 
 
PLEASE RESPECT PRIVATE PROPERTY
 
 
 
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 Photo by Dave & Amanda Jones with expressed permission
 
 
 
The lock-up at Clophill is situated in Old Silsoe Road, MK45 4AD on the village green and adjacent to the old village animal pound. It dates to about 1840 and was rebuilt in 1857 at a cost of £4.
 
 
 
 
CLOPHILL
 
OS Grid Reference: TL0823437664
OS Grid Coordinates: 508234, 237664
Latitude/Longitude: 52.0268, -0.4239
 
Photo from Bedfordshire & Luton Archives &Records Service with expressed permission
 
Bedford Borough Council web site (www.bedford.gov.uk ) tells us :
 
The lock-up on The Green was listed by the former Department of Environment in January 1985 as Grade II, of special interest. The department commented: "Included for its socio-historical interest". It was described as early to mid 19th Century and is built of red brick with a slate roof.

The lock-up and the pound were manorial law enforcement devices, the one for riotous people the other for straying animals. People would be kept in the lock-up to cool off before being allowed out and fined or removed to a more secure institution. Animals would be released from the pound on payment of a fine by their owner.

In 1936 Bedfordshire Historic Record Society published a volume on turnpikes and pounds in the county. The compiler, J. Steele Elliott wrote of Clophill: "1814. Record [Quarter Sessions Rolls] of a "breach of the Peace in the said Parish of Clophill; for that the said James Odell did, with Force and Violence, break open the pound there, where his ass was impounded for Trespass". Sentence: 10 Days in the gaol and fined one shilling". The brick-built Pound is of 19th century construction; it adjoins the village Cage and stands on the south side of the Green; it measures 22 feet square".

Other extracts from Quarter Sessions records reveal that it was recommended that the lock-up be built in 1840 [QEV1]. In 1856 it was recommended that the lock-up be rebuilt and that £4 from the police rate be allowed to cover the cost [QSM39, page 256]. In the event the £4 was duly paid on completion of the rebuilding the following year [QSM39 page 391]. In 1892 it was stated that the lock-up belonged to Lord Cowper, owner of the Wrest Park Estate, and was let to "various persons" [SJV10].

The Rating and Valuation Act 1925 specified that every building and piece of land in the country was to be assessed as to its rateable value. Clophill was assessed in 1927. The valuer visiting the lock up [DV1/C288/95] noted that it was owned by Luton brewer J. W. Green Limited (which owned the Flying Horse|) and occupied by S. Chase. He simply commented: "Used to be village pound", "Occasionally used as store for lime etc." and "Advertising Hoarding". 

I am grateful to Martin Deacon  (www.archives@bedford.gov.uk) for his help.


 

This lock-up was Grade 11 listed 10.1.1985 (No.37589) and described as :

 Village lock-up and pound. Early-mid C19. Lock-up : red brick. Slate roof.
Small square building with low pyramidal roof. N elevation has plank door
surmounted by metal grille. Rear elevation has small single light. Simple
corbelled brick cornice to all elevations. Pound : red brick wall encloses
small square yard to rear RH. Approximately one metre high, capped with
rounded bricks, with timber gate to centre. Included for its socio-historical
interest.
Listing NGR: TL0823437664


Source: English Heritage

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence: PSI Click-use licence number C2008002006.

 

 
 
 
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The lock-up at Harrold is one of the finest examples of a roundhouse. Situated on the village green at Mowhills, MK43 7DB it dates to around 1824.
 
 
 

HARROLD

OS Grid Reference: SP9510356744
OS Grid Coordinates: 495103, 256744
Latitude/Longitude: 52.2007, -0.6099

 
Photo by Roy Pledger
 
 
It was Grade 11 listed 7.5.1951 (No.36938) and described as :
 
 
 Early C19 lock up. Small circular building of coursed limestone rubble.
Steep conical stone roof surmounted by a moulded ball finial. Door with
timber lintel.
Listing NGR: SP9510356744

Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence: PSI Click-use licence number C2008002006.
 
 
 
Despite the nature of the building as a place of incarceration, there is a humorous side to the lock-up. In 1967 a local man won a bet after being locked inside the cramped, dark interior. The bet started as a result of a discussion in the local pub, where drinkers argued that people today would never survive a night in such squalid conditions. George Knight, a local window cleaner, believed that they could and proved his opinion by spending 48 hours and one second in the lock-up to win the bet.

 
 
 
 
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The lock-up at Silsoe, known as The Cage, is situated in Church Road, MK45 4EH
and dates to 1796.

 

 SILSOE

Silsoe lock-up in 1961 [Z291/197/56]
 
 
Bedford Borough Council web site (www.bedford.gov.uk ) tells us :
 

'The village lockup stands on the south side of Church Road in the drive leading to the modern houseNumber 15. It was listed by the former Department of Environment in January 1985 as Grade II, of special interest. The department noted that a plaque on door recorded a date of 1796. It is built of coursed ironstone with a cement render over tiled roof. It is octagonal in plan with a conical roof. It was probably built to imprison people misbehaving at the markets| and fairs. They would either have been left to sober up or detained until they could be taken before a magistrate if the crime was
more serious.              
The Rating and Valuation Act 1925 specified that every building and piece of land in the country was to be assessed to determine its rateable value. The valuer noted that the Parish Council Lighting Committee rented the building from John George Murray, owner of the Wrest Park Estate for five shillings per annum and described the structure as a "Round stone Prison".
The photograph above has a piece of text stuck to it: "The old pound [sic] at Silsoe, once the old smithy, is now used as a battery house for chickens. It was, in early days used to lock up malefactors" [X291/197/56].

In 1977 Yvonne Nicholls produced a work on lock-ups in the county for Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service. She found the following references to the lock up at Silsoe:


Chapel wardens' accounts noted straw for the cage on 11th June 1821 [P54/12/1];
  • Chapel wardens' accounts noted a bill of eighteen guineas by Thomas Stephens for repairing the cage [P54/12/1];

  • A note of 1892 stated that the cage was owned by Lord Cowper, owner of Wrest Park, but that it was under the control of the parish vestry [SJV10].

  • I am grateful to Martin Deacon  (www.archives@bedford.gov.uk) for his help relating to lock-ups in Bedfordshire.

     
     
    SILSOE

    OS Grid Reference: TL0815435597
    OS Grid Coordinates: 508154, 235597
    Latitude/Longitude: 52.0083, -0.4257

     
    Photo's by Dave & Amanda Jones with expressed permission.
     
     
     
    I am grateful to Dave & Amanda Jones for the use of their photographs.
    

    This lock-up was Grade 11 listed 10.1.1985 (No.37687) and described as :
               
    Village lock-up. C20 plaque on door records date 1796. Coursed ironstone.
    Cement render over tiled roof. Octagonal plan with conical roof. E elevation
    has pointed arched doorway. Pointed arched oak door has strap hinges and studs.
    Listing NGR: TL0815435597

    Source: English Heritage

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