Prison gate, former governor's house and chaplain's house, HM Prison Aylesbury (Aylesbury Gaol)


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
HM Prison Aylesbury, 13-21, Bierton Road, Aylesbury


Ordnance survey map of Prison gate, former governor's house and chaplain's house, HM Prison Aylesbury (Aylesbury Gaol)
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Statutory Address:
HM Prison Aylesbury, 13-21, Bierton Road, Aylesbury

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

Aylesbury Vale (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:


This list entry was subject to a Minor Enhancement on 31/05/2018

SP 81 SW 7/1

BIERTON ROAD Nos 13-21 (odd) Prison gate, former governor’s house and chaplain’s house, HM Prison Aylesbury (Aylesbury Gaol)

(Formerly listed as No 13, Gateway to H M Prison and No 2, BIERTON ROAD)

II A prison gate, flanked by the houses of the governor (east) and chaplain (west). Dated 1845 on the frieze above the gate and designed by Charles James Pierce and Major J Jebb. Red brick with stucco quoins and dressings and an E-shaped plan. The central, tall arch has a massive, rusticated doorway with a portcullis motif in the tympanum. The prominent frieze has a dentil cornice, above which is a blocking course. There is a small, wooden bell turret to the roof. At either side are recessed, two-storey, three-sash-window wings with wide window surrounds and deep, stucco parapets. Beyond these the projecting end blocks each have two taller storeys with first floor sill bands. Three sashes in wide surrounds and central doorways. Above each are a frieze, modillion cornice and blocking course.

Aylesbury Gaol holds a significant place in the campaign for women’s suffrage. It housed a number of suffragette prisoners arrested during mass demonstrations by the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), a militant suffrage organisation whose members used direct action in support of their campaign for the vote. In March 1912 suffragettes carried out a mass window-smashing raid in London. Holloway Gaol, the usual prison for suffragettes, could not cope with the numbers arrested, so many were sent to Aylesbury. On 5 April, the prisoners began a secret hunger strike which went undetected for several days, and when the authorities found out, hunger strikers were fed by force, although four were released on health grounds.

The Aylesbury hunger strike spread to other prisons to become the largest mass hunger strike undertaken by suffragettes, with over eighty prisoners taking part. Aylesbury became the focus for protests against forcible feeding and on 13 April 1912 over 100 protesters marched on the gaol to hold a meeting at the gates. Suffragette prisoners waved handkerchiefs from their cell windows.

This list entry was amended in 2018 as part of the centenary commemorations of the 1918 Representation of the People Act.

Listing NGR: SP8268814450


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Burning to Get the Vote: The Women's Suffrage Movement in Central Buckinghamshire, 1904-1914, (2013)
Brodie, Croom, Davies, , English Prisons, (2002), 100, 102
Pevsner, N, Williamson, E, Buildings of England: Buckinghamshire, (1994), 156


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: 17 Jul 2000
Reference: IOE01/00072/10
Rights: Copyright IoE Dr Barry Senior. Source Historic England Archive
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