Tuesday, 9 April 2013

DERBYSHIRE. Lock-ups at Alfreton, Cromford and Curbar.

 Moving over into Derbyshire I have located just six remaining lock-ups, although the one at Curbar leaves some doubt and may or may not have been a lock-up as we shall see.

The lock-up at Alfreton, known as The House of Confinement, is situated in
King Street, DE55 7AG on the A61 through the village.
According to web site Derbyshire UK, it dates to 1820.

Photo by Roy Pledger
It was Grade 11 listed 13.7.1966 (No.79063) and described as :

' Parish lock-up. Mid C18. Ashlar with shallow pitched roof of large stone slabs
plus stone slab ridge stack. Single storey and 2 bays. Gabled street elevation
has central semicircular headed doorcase with wide raised surround, raised keystone
and studded wooden door. Above is a raised plaque inscribed 'House of Confinement'.
To either side there are circular openings with raised plain surrounds. Interior
has central corridor with cells to either side. Unusually large example of village
lock-up '.

Source: English Heritage

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.



The lock-up at Crich was under the old Parish Rooms and eventually became toilets.
www.crichparish.co.uk  tells us :
'There was of course a village prison (noted in the 1839 Parish Survey), where more serious sinners were held. This was a small dark sparse room under the "old" Parish Rooms, which was eventually used as a toilet before improvement of the buildings occurred'.

The website also gives a good account of Law and Order in Crich and in the country in  general with an article by Dr J.G.Dawes, who also relates:

'The Village Pound, where stray animals were restrained under the control of the Constable was also itemised in the 1839 rating Survey. It was opposite and to the south of the Church, where there is, today, a house called 'Penfold' - the local name of the pound. In it there is a strongly built room with no windows which, it is believed, was used as a lock-up by village constables'




The lock-up at Cromford is situated off Cromford Hill at the rear of
21 Swift's Hollow, DE4 3RF and dates to 1790.

Photo by Roy Pledger

It was Grade 11 listed 23.3.1988 (No.429968) and described as :
' Lock-Up with keeper's accommodation above, now a garage and store. 1790.
Coursed rubble with ashlar dressings. Slate roof with 2 brick stacks.
2 storey. 5 bay front. Right-hand doorway with plank door, reached up
2 steps with large square lintel. To the left a 2 light flush mullion
window, and beyond another similar door and beyond again another 2 light
flush mullion window. To the left an inserted pair of garage doors.
Above to the right a 2 light window which has lost its flush mullion,
and to the left 2 half glazed loft doors. The north-west gable front
has an upper 3 light flush mullion window with its original wooden glazing
bars. The interior on the ground floor contains 2 lock-up cells with
iron doors '.

 Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.


The supposed lock-up at Curbar, known locally as The Roundhouse, is situated in a PRIVATE GARDEN near the village and can be seen from a nearby public footpath.
It has been converted into a cottage or garden house and it dates to 1780.





Photo by David Dunford

with expressed permission.
 © Copyright David Dunford and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
I am grateful to David for the use of his Geograph photograph.
In ' Tales from The Round House' Julie Bunting tells us that :
' the building dates from around 1780 and its history has been handed down by word of mouth. The fact that it has often been referred to as Curbar lock-up may indicate that there is some truth behind the story that it was used long ago as a temporary jail, perhaps an overnight stop, for law breakers being conveyed to a more secure prison. Indeed the windows were once barred and Curbar does lie roughly half-way along a very old route connecting Tideswell and Chesterfield, each of which formerly had a proper jailhouse. However, according to other information handed down the generations, the short term inmates were usually lead miners being conveyed to Derby Assizes because their offences could not be dealt with at  Barmote Courts.'

It has also been suggested that the building was a 'pest house', but there is a school of thought which says that it was in fact a 'bath house' for the nearby Cliff College which is given credence by the fact that there is a substantial stone water cistern nearby.
What is certain is that it was eventually converted into a PRIVATE DWELLING, albeit just one up and one down, for which the chimney may have been added.






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