Tuesday, 30 November 2010

The Village Lock Up

Prior to the 1839 County Police Act, sometimes known as the Rural Police Act, most villages of any size had a 'lock up', where law breakers could be detained prior to a court appearance.  The Act allowed for the appointment of a professional police constable, rather than the part time Parish constable, to be employed 'for the preservation of the peace and protection of the inhabitants'.  It also stipulated that a police house had to be constructed, along with appropriate cell accommodation.  The Old Police House is up on the Cirencester road in Arlington and looks as if it was built around the time of the Act.  However, the photo above is of the lock up.  It must have been a grim place to have spent anytime at all, never mind a cold winter's night.  The only window is a very small one to the rear which is heavily barred and the door is hugely thick and riveted.  It looks a little unloved at the moment, but it would be fascinating to find out who has languished within and why they were there!

The rear, and only, window.  Along with modern fag ends.

A great old oak door.  Imagine that slamming behind you!


  1. I can think of a few candidates who might benefit from a spell in there.

  2. How true! I was trying to think of a witty pun working around 'bars on windows' and 'bars in pubs', but failed.

  3. Hi Richard,

    I was actually going to make pretty much the same comment as Gaw. It would do some of the habitual offenders of today, no harm at all to serve a spell locked in there. What would they do without their colour TV and Play Station? They may think twice about re-offending.


  4. You're right Yvonne!
    Would also save a great deal of police petrol as the nearest police cells are 20 miles away in Stroud!