Lock up 60m south east of St Mary's Church


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


Ordnance survey map of Lock up 60m south east of St Mary's Church
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

West Somerset (District Authority)
Brompton Regis
National Park:
National Grid Reference:
SS 95176 31441

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.

Despite some modern consolidation work, the lock up at Brompton Regis survives comparatively well. The structure retains the original plan and form of a single-cell temporary lock up. It forms an historically interesting focal point in its prominent position at the top end of Brompton Regis village where it can be publicly viewed at all times.


The monument includes a stone built lock up located in a prominent position towards the west end of the main street through Brompton Regis village. The lock up, which is believed to be of late 18th century to early 19th century date, was built as a temporary holding place for petty criminals who were being brought before the local magistrate. It is constructed of coursed rubble stone. Most of the roof has been removed and the structure of the lock up survives as a rectangular single-celled building which measures 3.5m from east to west and 3.10m from north to south. It is without windows and has internal dimensions of 2.4m in length, 1.85m wide with walls surviving up to a height of 2m. A rectangular doorway 0.9m in width and set 0.45m above the ground is located in the east facing wall of the building and was inserted during the consolidation work which was carried out around 1980. The original doorway located in the north wall has been blocked, but an upper door hinge remains in situ. Although an exact date for the construction of the lock up has not so far been established, it is shown to have been in place on the Parish Tithe map of 1836 and lock ups of this style are known to have been built from about 1775 to 1825. All modern fencing, gates and gateposts, the telegraph pole at the south east corner of the building and all modern road and path surfaces are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is included. Specifically excluded from the scheduling is the stone-capped well located near the south side of the building and the ground beneath it. The well is not contemporary with the monument and lies within the margin of protection only.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Viner, D, Cirencester Lock-up and Workhouse, (1994), 2


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

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