Ancient Monuments

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Lock up 60m south-east of the Church of St Mary

A Scheduled Monument in Brompton Regis, Somerset

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Latitude: 51.0727 / 51°4'21"N

Longitude: -3.4976 / 3°29'51"W

OS Eastings: 295174.192279

OS Northings: 131444.873002

OS Grid: SS951314

Mapcode National: GBR LH.DPRQ

Mapcode Global: FRA 36K8.WSH

Entry Name: Lock up 60m south-east of the Church of St Mary

Scheduled Date: 12 November 2003

Last Amended: 23 June 2022

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1021157

English Heritage Legacy ID: 35705

County: Somerset

Civil Parish: Brompton Regis

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset


The monument includes a stone built lock up located in a prominent
position towards the west end of the main street through Brompton Regis
village. The lock up, which is believed to be of late 18th century to
early 19th century date, was built as a temporary holding place for petty
criminals who were being brought before the local magistrate. It is
constructed of coursed rubble stone. Most of the roof has been removed and
the structure of the lock up survives as a rectangular single-celled
building which measures 3.5m from east to west and 3.10m from north to
south. It is without windows and has internal dimensions of 2.4m in
length, 1.85m wide with walls surviving up to a height of 2m. A
rectangular doorway 0.9m in width and set 0.45m above the ground is
located in the east facing wall of the building and was inserted during
the consolidation work which was carried out around 1980. The original
doorway located in the north wall has been blocked, but an upper door
hinge remains in situ.
Although an exact date for the construction of the lock up has not so far
been established, it is shown to have been in place on the Parish Tithe
map of 1836 and lock ups of this style are known to have been built from
about 1775 to 1825.
All modern fencing, gates and gateposts, the telegraph pole at the south
east corner of the building and all modern road and path surfaces are
excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features
is included. Specifically excluded from the scheduling is the stone-capped
well located near the south side of the building and the ground beneath
it. The well is not contemporary with the monument and lies within the
margin of protection only.

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

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

Despite some modern consolidation work, the lock up at Brompton Regis
survives comparatively well. The structure retains the original plan and
form of a single-cell temporary lock up. It forms an historically
interesting focal point in its prominent position at the top end of
Brompton Regis village where it can be publicly viewed at all times.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Viner, D, Cirencester Lock-up and Workhouse, (1994), 2

Source: Historic England

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