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Listed Building
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Statutory Address:

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

Leeds (Metropolitan Authority)
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:
SE 27956 33352



SE2733 GLOUCESTER TERRACE, Armley 714-1/33/487 (West side) 05/08/76 Armley Prison: inner range


Inner range to prison, containing offices, chapel, cells. 1847, altered C20. By William Belton Perkin and Elisha Backhouse; S wing extended 1857. Ashlar, edge-tooled quoins, brick internal skin with rubble infill, slate roofs. Castle style. The complex contains former board rooms and offices, chapel, cells in 4 radiating arms. Opposite the entrance archway (qv) is the tall 2-stage block with central corridor and former lodgings, Prison Board meeting rooms: former round-arched entrance originally reached by a flight of stone steps. These steps removed, entrance archway reduced in height, decorative wrought-iron grille inserted. Deeply-recessed round window in roll-moulding above, flanking lancet windows, clock and 3 lancets above, stone brackets and embattled parapets. Behind this block a tall pitched-roof range with chapel on upper floor: 6 bays, underceiled and re-ordered, 3 paired windows each side, chamfered chancel arch, west gallery with panelled benches. To W again a taller semicircular tower with rectangular turret, corbelled embattled parapet. Central well and 4 radiating wings of 4 storeys with small paired round-arched windows, iron bars, embattled parapet on corbels and square corner turrets with arrow-loops; in end wall a 3-storey canted bay window lighting the galleries; over the centre of each wing a large octagonal ventilation tower. INTERIOR: central well has spiral staircases to galleries with stone cantilevered landings, straight-flight stairs, balustrades; the wings open to the vaulted roofs. Extensive refurbishment in progress at time of survey, but some original cells survive with studded metal-lined doors, recess in wall alongside and wooden corner shelf suggesting a serving hatch. HISTORICAL NOTE: by the early C19 the treatment of prisoners was beginning to include an emphasis on correction as well as punishment. The prison system generally adopted was that of solitary confinement for most of the day, the prisoner 'thinking over' his problems. The panopticon system of the late C18 was developed into the radial plan seen at Armley: many individual cells in separate wings projecting from a central core, each wing having a central top-lit corridor. Armley closely follows the arrangement of Pentonville Prison,

London, by Joshua Jebb, 1840-42 and published in The Builder in 1847, but here the monumental entrance block is not linked to the inner complex. Rapkin's map of 1850 shows the original plan of the 'New Borough Goal' and has a vignette depicting the prison with driveway from Armley Road, then the Leeds and Stanningley Road. (Dixon, R & Muthesius, S: Victorian Architecture: London: 1978-: 114; Rapkin: Map of Leeds: 1850-).

Listing NGR: SE2795633352


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

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Books and journals
Dixon, R, Muthesius, S, Victorian Architecture, (1978), 114


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

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