Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Round House

A Scheduled Monument in Alton, Staffordshire

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Latitude: 52.9762 / 52°58'34"N

Longitude: -1.8939 / 1°53'38"W

OS Eastings: 407221.41

OS Northings: 342097.6322

OS Grid: SK072420

Mapcode National: GBR 37R.G04

Mapcode Global: WHBD4.WGB7

Entry Name: Round House

Scheduled Date: 30 December 1947

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1006116

English Heritage Legacy ID: ST 34

County: Staffordshire

Civil Parish: Alton

Built-Up Area: Alton

Traditional County: Staffordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Staffordshire

Church of England Parish: Alton St Peter

Church of England Diocese: Lichfield


Lock up at the junction of Knight Lane and Dimble Lane.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 11 June 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 within the village of Alton. It is a small circular one-celled building up to 4m in diameter, made of rock faced ashlar stone with a door on its north side and a dome roof surmounted by a cupola with ball finial. It was built in 1819 by the Earl of Shrewsbury to act as a temporary prison.
The lock up is also a Grade II Listed Building (NHLE 1374689).

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Lock ups or blind houses are small buildings built as temporary prisons for the incarceration of drunkards, vagrants and people disturbing the peace. Generally stone built but occasionally wooden, they are square, round or octagonal and contain either one cell or one for either sex. A small sometimes barred window was often included but the inside was always dim, hence the term blind house. In some examples, an iron cradle or wooden bench survives, on which the prisoner slept. They were often built by the parish or as a gift to the village or town by a wealthy resident and are generally centrally placed within the settlement. Blind houses went out of use in the mid-19th century when they were made redundant by the founding of a regular police service.

The lock up at Alton survives as a good example of this class of monument and is a focal point within the village which retains a number of contemporary buildings which would have been in existence in the early 19th century.

Source: Historic England


Pastscape 305402, HER DST5876 & NMR SK04SE18

Source: Historic England

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