Ancient Monuments

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Lock up 20m south of Little London Cottage in the High Street

A Scheduled Monument in Heytesbury, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.1828 / 51°10'57"N

Longitude: -2.1077 / 2°6'27"W

OS Eastings: 392565.358797

OS Northings: 142620.695

OS Grid: ST925426

Mapcode National: GBR 2WT.V7R

Mapcode Global: VH97Q.FJ2N

Entry Name: Lock up 20m south of Little London Cottage in the High Street

Scheduled Date: 22 January 1935

Last Amended: 19 September 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019737

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34209

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Heytesbury

Built-Up Area: Heytesbury

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Heytesbury with Tytherington and Knook St Peter and St Paul

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes an 18th century lock up on the north side of Heytesbury
High Street. The village is situated below the south facing scarp of Salisbury
Plain to the south east of Warminster.
The lock up, which is a Listed Building Grade II, is set into the garden wall
of Little London Cottage, projecting partly into the garden and partly onto
the pavement. It is octagonal, 3.4m wide from face to face, and built of
ashlar limestone. The walls are 2.5m high and 0.5m thick and the roof is
conical, built of thick stone tiles surmounted by a ball finial. The doorway
is to the south, facing the street and the studded door is of oak. There is a
small barred square window above. Inside the building there is a wooden bench
with a chain attached.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

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, containing 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.
Blind houses went out of use in the mid-19th century when they were made
redundant by the formation of a regular police force.
The lock up 20m south of Little London Cottage in the High Street is a well-
preserved example of a lock up which preserves original fittings in the form
of a wooden bench and a chain.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Pevsner, N , The Buildings of England: Wiltshire, (1975), 268

Source: Historic England

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