The old prison and pump


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1002727

Date first listed: 04-Dec-1951


Ordnance survey map of The old prison and pump
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Dorset

District: Purbeck (District Authority)

Parish: Swanage

National Grid Reference: SZ 02987 78750


Lock up and water pump at Swanage Town Hall.

Reasons for Designation

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 examples. The lock up and water pump at Swanage Town Hall is a rare survival in excellent condition.


See Details.


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 17 December 2015. The record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

The monument includes a lock up and water pump situated immediately north of the Town Hall in Swanage. The lock up survives as a small rectangular gabled stone built roofed building with a barrel vaulted ceiling, a nail studded door and a single window covered with a grille. A commemorative plaque above the doorway is inscribed with the words ‘Erected for the Prevention of Vice and Immorality by the Friends of Religion and Good Order, AD 1803’. Inside is a dished circular setting presumably for ablutions. To the north of the lock up is a painted cast iron decorated water pump surmounted by a ball finial with a semi circular trough also of 19th century date.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: DO 153

Legacy System: RSM - OCN


PastScape Monument No:-457483

End of official listing