Saturday, 13 July 2013

SOMERSET. Lock-ups at Hinton St George, Nether Stowey and Coleford.

From time to time, lock-ups are put up for sale and become privately owned.
The lock-up at Hinton St George is a good example of this.
 The lock-up probably dates to 1804, as inscribed on a lintel,and was originally on the village green. It is built from hamstone and brick and the roof  has been replaced by corrugated iron sheeting. It has the original barred door with peephole which has been inserted into a new doorway on the side of the building. The original doorway on the end has been partially filled in and a window inserted. A circular stone ventilation opening above gave some light. The interior has a fine barrel-vaulted roof. There is also a stone insert inscribed 'J. Irish, 1954' which is the likely date of the conversion.
In 1830 it was used to store the goods of a pauper and two years later held the pauper herself.
In 1930 a private house was built on the green alongside the lock-up which is now within the grounds of that property at 27 The Green, TA17 8SQ. It is now used as a store. 


All photo's by Alan Keene with expressed permission
I am grateful to Alan Keene for sending me these photographs.

1804 on the lintel


A Grade 11 listed 17th century holiday cottage at Coleford known as The Turrets,
was formerly the village lock-up



The lock-up at Nether Stowey has been renovated and is now used as
an open shelter and information point.


Photograph by Neil Owen
 Copyright Neil Owen  and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
I am grateful to Neil Owen for the use of his Geograph photograph

Known as The Old Gaol, the building is situated next to the Bell Tower in Castle Street, TA5 1LW.
The date of construction is now known but it was built over a stream which would have facilitated waste removal.
A story is told about the 1870's when a foreigner and his tame bear arrived in the village seeking lodgings and they were in fact accomodated together in the lock-up. They emerged the following morning in rude health as witnessed by an assembled crowd.
Another story (probably apocryphal), being repeated at a number of lock-ups, tells of the wife of a man, detained in the lock-up, feeding him with beer through a long clay pipe by pushing the end of the stem through the keyhole. The man was then able to suck the beer from the bowl of the pipe which his wife inserted into a pot of beer.

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