Ancient Monuments

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The old prison and pump

A Scheduled Monument in Swanage, Dorset

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Latitude: 50.6085 / 50°36'30"N

Longitude: -1.9591 / 1°57'32"W

OS Eastings: 402986.595085

OS Northings: 78750.278056

OS Grid: SZ029787

Mapcode National: GBR 459.PJD

Mapcode Global: FRA 67SG.GKS

Entry Name: The old prison and pump

Scheduled Date: 4 December 1951

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1002727

English Heritage Legacy ID: DO 153

County: Dorset

Civil Parish: Swanage

Built-Up Area: Swanage

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Swanage St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


Lock up and water pump at Swanage Town Hall.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 17 December 2015. The record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

The monument includes a lock up and water pump situated immediately north of the Town Hall in Swanage. The lock up survives as a small rectangular gabled stone built roofed building with a barrel vaulted ceiling, a nail studded door and a single window covered with a grille. A commemorative plaque above the doorway is inscribed with the words ‘Erected for the Prevention of Vice and Immorality by the Friends of Religion and Good Order, AD 1803’. Inside is a dished circular setting presumably for ablutions. To the north of the lock up is a painted cast iron decorated water pump surmounted by a ball finial with a semi circular trough also of 19th century date.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Lock ups, also known as round houses, blind houses and clinks, are temporary holding places for offenders being brought before the magistrate. Sometimes a cell was located in or under a public building, but most lock ups were purpose built, usually small square, rectangular, octagonal or occasionally circular stone buildings. Most were windowless with one or two ventilation grilles, often set under the eaves or into the single door. The earliest recorded lock up dates from the 13th century, and most fell out of use when police stations with their own holding facilities were established. Less than 300 lock ups are currently recorded nationally, mostly grouped in clusters such as in Essex, West Yorkshire and Derbyshire, with the highest concentrations in Wiltshire and Somerset. In some counties, such as Hampshire, there are no recorded examples. The lock up and water pump at Swanage Town Hall is a rare survival in excellent condition.

Source: Historic England


PastScape Monument No:-457483

Source: Historic England

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