Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1006116
Date first listed: 30-Dec-1947
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Staffordshire Moorlands (District Authority)
National Grid Reference: SK 07221 42098
Lock up at the junction of Knight Lane and Dimble Lane.
Reasons for Designation
Lock ups or blind houses are small buildings built as temporary prisons for the incarceration of drunkards, vagrants and people disturbing the peace. Generally stone built but occasionally wooden, they are square, round or octagonal and contain either one cell or one for either sex. A small sometimes barred window was often included but the inside was always dim, hence the term blind house. In some examples, an iron cradle or wooden bench survives, on which the prisoner slept. They were often built by the parish or as a gift to the village or town by a wealthy resident and are generally centrally placed within the settlement. Blind houses went out of use in the mid-19th century when they were made redundant by the founding of a regular police service. The lock up at Alton survives as a good example of this class of monument and is a focal point within the village which retains a number of contemporary buildings which would have been in existence in the early 19th century.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 11 June 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 within the village of Alton. It is a small circular one-celled building up to 4m in diameter, made of rock faced ashlar stone with a door on its north side and a dome roof surmounted by a cupola with ball finial. It was built in 1819 by the Earl of Shrewsbury to act as a temporary prison. The lock up is also a Grade II Listed Building (NHLE 1374689). .
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: ST 34
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
Pastscape 305402, HER DST5876 & NMR SK04SE18
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing