The Lock Up


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:
Statutory Address:
East Street, Lacock, SN15 2LF


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Statutory Address:
East Street, Lacock, SN15 2LF

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:


A late C18 village lock up.

Reasons for Designation

The Lock Up, East Street, Lacock, which is thought to date from the late C18, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons: * Architectural interest: as an interesting example of a village lock up, with pleasing detailing; * Degree of survival: despite some repairs, the lock up survives mostly intact; * Historic interest: as a reminder of early methods of maintaining law and order in rural areas; * Group value: with the adjacent tithe barn (Grade I) are other listed buildings.


Lock-ups or blind houses (so called for their dim interiors) are small buildings built as temporary holding places for offenders being brought before the local magistrate, and also for the incarceration of drunkards, vagrants and people disturbing the peace. They were often built by the parish or a wealthy local resident. The earliest recorded examples date from the C13, and most fell out of use in the mid-C19 when they were made redundant by the formation of a regular police service.

This lock-up in Lacock is thought to date from the late C18.


A late C18 village lock-up.

MATERIALS AND PLAN: built of ashlar stone and is square on plan.

DESCRIPTION: a small, square building with coursed ashlar walls with low plinth and band at band at cornice level, and a domed ashlar roof surmounted by a ball finial. There are two buttresses to the north, and to the west the lock-up is joined to the adjacent tithe barn by a wall with a timber door giving access to the lock-up.

The door, with iron studs and thick straps with decorative ends, opens into a small flagged yard, which is roofed with an iron grille. The studded door into the lock-up itself is in a chamfered surround, and inside is a lavatory and modern timber bed. The lock-up is window-less but has a high ventilation hole.


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: Wiltshire, (1999), p. 289
Pastscape no. 21260, accessed 19.09.16 from
Wiltshire and Swindon Historic Environment Record no. MW14809, accessed 19.09.16 from


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 20 May 2001
Reference: IOE01/03673/26
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Jeffery Bartlett. Source Historic England Archive
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