Saturday, 13 July 2013

SOMERSET. Lock-ups at Brompton Regis, Monkton Combe and Westbury on Trym.

The lock-up at Brompton Regis is a fairly crude affair reminiscent of a domestic garage with a sloping roof of stone slabs.  It is situated oppoosite the S.E gate of St Mary's Church, TA22 9NN.
It does not appear to be a listed building but it is a Scheduled Ancient Monument.
The date or any other details of its history are not known.
All photo's by Tony Ethridge with expressed permission
I am grateful to Tony Ethridge for allowing me to copy his Flickr photographs.
No doubt is was quite a sombre experience to spend time in this lock-up, but one saving grace seems to be the size of the large door grille giving much needed ventilation and maybe the prisoner could see what was going on outside. On the other hand it seems to be large enough to contain two cells so maybe the grille only covered a passageway. It would be interesting to see inside this one.

The lock-up at Monkton Combe is situated in Mill Lane, BA2 7HD.
It has two cells and dates to 1776.
It was restored in 1954 and a new door was fitted in 1968, constructed from 2" English Oak and the frame 4"x3" English Oak. A metal grille was inserted as required and, as a feature false antique mild steel wrought iron hinges were affixed. Addition features are the raised beads, also in oak, and antique studs.  Further repair was carried out in 2003.


OS Grid Reference: ST7735661971
OS Grid Coordinates: 377356, 161971
Latitude/Longitude: 51.3564, -2.3266

Photo by Rodw on Wikipedia
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On May 15th, 1953, the then Clerk to Monkton Combe Parish Council wrote to The Ministry of Works requesting whether the lock-up could become an Ancient Monument. It was stated that the lock-up was erected in the early/mid 18th century and that up until about 1895/1900 there were stocks outside. The building is approx. 8ft square with a domed roof and built of Bath stone. It is fitted with an iron studded oak door and contains two cells. The last time any money was spent on repairing the lock-up was in 1906 and repairs were now necessary.
On July 3rd, 1953, Mr. D. McCallion from the Ministry of Works replied that the building will be listed as an Ancient Monument. However, they would not undertake any repairs, even when listed. This will be the responsibility of the owners (The Parish Council). The Ministry is only responsible for repairs when it has taken a building into guardianship, but their funds are so limited that they could not accept the lock-up on that basis. However, they would be only too pleased to offer advice on repairs and maintenance.
On September 17th, 1953, Mr. R.S. Simms, writing on behalf of the Chief Inspector of Ancient Monuments, wrote saying he would be in Bath on Friday 9th October and would come and inspect the lock-up and meet members from the Parish Council. He remembers the building as he was at school in Monkton Combe.
On October 9th, 1953, the lock-up was inspected. The historian noted that it was a prime example of a lock-up and of particular interest having two cells. It was also considered to be in good condition. They advised that the following works be carried out:
  • Clean and grout the open joints in the masonry
  • Remove the cement pointing and re-point in lime mortar (2½ to 1)
  • Re-point the worn joints in similar lime mortar
  • Remove the iron lug below the string course under the dome
  • Re-bed the stone jamb at the foot of the inner door
  • Replace the existing frame to the door and treat the door and frame with clear Cuprinol.
On January 20th, 1954, an estimate of £12 was given by Male & Marchant of Freshford for carrying out the repairs. The estimate was accepted.
On March 27th, 1956, a notification was received from The Ministry of Housing and Local Government stating that the lock-up now officially appears in the list of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest in the Rural District of Bathavon, as compiled by the Minister of Housing and Local Government on the 1st February 1956.
On June 11th, 1968, a letter of that date was received from Rowland Coles Ltd., of Peasedown St. John, in which they describe the oak door they had just fitted to the lock-up - 'The door was constructed from 2" English Oak and the frame ex 4" x 3" English Oak and an illustration is attached hereto. A metal grille was inserted as required and, as a feature, false antique mild steel wrought hinges were affixed. Additional features are the raised beads, also in oak, and antique studs.'
All the above information was obtained from Monkton Combe Parish Council records.
December, 2002 - more repairs are now needed to the lockup, mainly replacing mortar. Permission has been sought to do this and we are still in the process of arranging the repairs.
September, 2003 - The above repairs have now been completed and will be added to this section soon.
It was Grade 11 listed 1.2.1956 (No.400163) and described as :
Lock-up. Mid - late C18, probably c.1776. Ashlar. Square on plan with a
plinth at the rear. Domical stone roof. Narrow square headed door opening;
plank door with barred peep hole. No windows.
Listing NGR: ST7735661971
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence: PSI Click-use licence number C2008002006
The lock-up at Westbury on Trym is actually built into a retaining wall below the garden
of a converted Victorian school.
It is situated in Eastwood Lane, Westbury Hill, BS9 3AG and dates to the early 18th century.
 The building is let into the garden below the old school house which is now a dwelling. Around 1905 it was used as a store room and then as a carpenter's workshop until c1970. 
It is owned by Bristol Council and  is Grade 11 listed.

Photo by Colin Sinnott with expressed permission
In 2001 it was reported in the local press that the local council had decided to sell the lock-up after it had sat on their 'void properties' list since 1970. With its lack of natural light it would only be suitable for use as a store, other than its obvious historic value. Apoparently there was a good deal of interest in it and the owners of the old school were said to be interested in buying, considering it to be an integral part of their property.

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