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Old Bridewell, Usk

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Map ReferenceSO30SE
Grid ReferenceSO3749000780
Unitary (Local) AuthorityMonmouthshire
Old CountyMonmouthshire
Type Of SitePRISON
Period16th Century
A building containing a late-medieval upper hall, possibly constructed in the early-sixteenth century as a chapel in connection with the nearby hospital of Usk Priory. By 1630 it served as a gaol or house of correction until the construction of H. M. Prison, Usk in Maryport Street (NPRN 32014). It was likely here that the Jesuit martyr, David Lewis, aka Charles Baker (1617?1679) was imprisoned in 1668?9. The gaol was described in the late-eighteenth century as consisting of two rooms on the ground floor, one for men and another for women, with two addition rooms at the top of the house. There was also a court with a pump. By the early-twentieth century the building was occupied by a baker.

The two-storey structure faces south-east on to Bridge Street, from which it is set back, with irregularly placed doors and windows within a variety of square- and round-headed openings. All of the openings of the south-west elevation have been blocked up with either brick or stone. In the south-east elevation, a hoodmould with notable spurred stops over a former window, and part of a second, survives.

(Sources: Joseph Bradney, A History of Monmouthshire, Vol 3, Part 1; The Hundred of Usk (Part 1) (London: Mitchell Hughes and Clarke, 1923), p. 52; John Newman, The Buildings of Wales: Gwent/Monmouthshire (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002), p. 594; Cadw Listed Building Description, Ref No 82772; GGAT Historic Environment Record, PRN 02012g)
A.N. Coward, RCAHMW, 25.03.2019