Wednesday, 26 June 2013

CAMBRIDGESHIRE. Lock-ups at Fen Drayton, Fenstanton, Great Chishill and Litlington.

The two cell lock-up at Fen Drayton is situated in High Street, CB4 5SJ
and dates to the 19th century.

OS Grid Reference: TL3384568186
OS Grid Coordinates: 533845, 268186
Latitude/Longitude: 52.2955, -0.0388

Photo by Free England Photo's ( 
It was Grade 11 listed 25.9.1984 (No.50974) and described as :
'Lock Up. C19. Gault brick, slate roof. Single storey with two
cell square plan. Two boarded doors to entrances facing west
with original iron bars to rectangular grills above. Dentil
brick eaves cornice with shallow parapet gables.
Listing NGR: TL3384568186
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence: PSI Click-use licence number C2008002006.
The lock-up at Fenstanton is situated in a fine clock tower in the High Street, PE28 9JZ
and dates to c.1650. It was restored by Fenstanton Parish Council in 1989.

OS Grid Reference: TL3149268446
OS Grid Coordinates: 531492, 268446
Latitude/Longitude: 52.2984, -0.0731

All photo's by Dave & Amanda Jones with expressed permission
I am ever grateful to Dave & Amanda Jones for allowing me to copy their photographs on


It was Grade 11 listed 24.10.1951 (No.53877) and described as :
 At junction with Hilton Road. Late C17 clock tower and lock up. Square plan and two-storeys. Red brick with yellow brick rusticated quoins, ashlar plinth. Restored
hipped slate roof with wooden louvred bell turret with round arches on each facesurmounted by weather vane. Dentil brick eaves cornice. Two plank doors to north
and south. One sealed first-floor window and one fixed light with glazing bars insegmental arch. Bell cast by Thomas Norris in 1660 or 1666 (VCH). Clock with
octagonal face on east wall from Conington Hall, Cambs. (Inskip Ladds Records,Norris Museum, St Ives, RCHM Huntingdonshire p 92 Mon 3).
Listing NGR: TL3149268446

Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence: PSI Click-use licence number C2008002006
The lock-up at Great Chishill is situated in Heydon Road, SG8 8SS
and was built between 1876 and 1896.

 OS Grid Reference: TL4247939044
OS Grid Coordinates: 542479, 239044
Latitude/Longitude: 52.0315, 0.0755
No Photograph is yet available.
Can be seen clearly on Google Street View.
It was Grade 11 listed 17.12.1986 (N o.52857) and described as :
 Lock up. Erected between 1876 and 1896. Red brick with pyramidal slated
roof with half boarded door hung on iron strap hinges.
Listing NGR: TL4247939044
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence: PSI Click-use licence number C2008002006.

The lock-up at Litlington is situated in Middle Lane, SG8 0QE which was formerly called CageLane. Known locally as The Cage is is also referred to as St Peter's Hole. It dates to the 18th century and was altered in the early 19th century. It was last used in 1840 when it is said that the incumbent set fire to the hay on the sleeping bench.
Side steps gave access to a water pump previously attached to the building.


OS Grid Reference: TL3121342795
OS Grid Coordinates: 531213, 242795
Latitude/Longitude: 52.0680, -0.0871

Photo's by Paul Marston with expressed permission

 It was Grade 11 listed 4.9.1986 (No.52583) and described as :

  Lock up. C18 with early C19 rebuilding. Red brick and C19 gault brick.
Single storey and rectangular plan with tunnel vaulted roof. Boarded door
with iron lock-bar and double grill facing south-east. Side steps to former
village pump.
RCHM Report 1950
VCH Vol VIII p.63
Ireland, M. De C. History of Abington Pigotts and Litlington'
Listing NGR: TL3121342795
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence: PSI Click-use licence number C2008002006.
 An information board on the wall reads :

' The Cage was built in the 18th century of red brick; early in the 18th century the tunnel-vaulted roof was rebuilt using cream coloured Gault bricks waterproofed with a coat of tar. Middle Street is shown as 'Cage Lane' on an 1830 map of Litlington, a reminder that the Cage and it's pump we're such important features in the village. This photo taken in 1923, shows a water-carrier preparing to fill his cart from the village pump that stood on a platform beside the Cage. Before the Rural Constabulary Act of 1839 there were no police as we know them today. The law - and the peace of the village - was enforced by Parish Constables and the Churchwardens.
Originally appointed by the Manor Court but later chosen by the. Parish or the vestry for a period of one year the unpaid Constable had many duties. His primary responsibility was to arrange the keeping of 'watch & ward' in the parish, which meant keeping the peace but included providing archery butts and taking charge of the parish armour. The Constable used his staff and handcuffs, the symbol of his office, to apprehend offenders.
  " As for persons qualified for the office, they ought to be honest, understanding and
    able Men, in the Men of Substance and not the meaner sort ".
He also levied fines, whipped vagrants, and assisted the Churchwardens in their duty of preserving parishioners who failed to attend Church regularly. Litlington's criminals would have been held in the Cage before they were taken to Court; it is said to have been last used during the social unrest of the 1840's, when the occupant set fire to the hay provided for his comfort. '

I am ever grateful to Paul Marston for allowing me to copy his photographs on 


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