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FORMER GAOL, LOVE LANE, DENBIGH

Site Details


NPRN 23370

Map Reference SJ06NE

Grid Reference SJ0502965930

Unitary (Local) Authority Denbighshire

Old County Denbighshire

Community Denbigh

Type of Site GAOL

Broad Class CIVIL

Period 19th Century

Site Description The Gaol was built in response to a review in 1838 that highlighted the inadequacy of the current prison in Denbigh. In order to erect a new prison the County Council had to raise capital, to this end it was agreed that the County be given The Bridewell building, (located near the western end of High Street and formerly called Ty Mawr). The money raised from the sale would be a contribution towards the expense of erecting a new prison. The building was eventually sold for the sum of £120.

The Gaol was designed by Sir Joshua Jebb a military engineer and Surveyor-General of convict prisons. Jebb was the designer of HM Prison Pentonville in London, the Pentonville plan became the model for British prions with the design being used all over the British Isles and throughout the Commonwealth. An example of the Pentonville design can be found at the nearby County Gaol in Ruthin.

The Love Lane Gaol was built in 1843 a year after the London prison, though not to the Pentonville plan. The plans show that it was designed with 6 cells at basement level and four large exercise yards outside. Presumably the upper floors were used to house guards, offices and a refectory.

The Gaol is a three storey building, with a central advanced bay with a two storey bay to the left and a single storey bay to the right, built from squared limestone blocks, with the quoins and the central bay being faced with rock. The Gaol is set back from the street, behind a low railed forecourt wall of squared, rough dressed limestone which slopes up to a pair of square central gate piers that are topped with ball finials

D.Jones RCAHMW 16/08/2012

References:

DRO BD/A/51

Report of the Surveyor-General of Prisons, London, 1844 reproduced in Mayhew, Criminal Prisons of London, London, 1862

E. Hubbard, 1996, Buildings of Wales – Clwyd

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