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Historic England Research Records

Norwich Castle County Gaol

Hob Uid: 1120451
Location :
Norfolk
Norwich
Norwich
Grid Ref : TG2310008500
Summary : Between 1789 and 1794 a new prison was constructed to the designs of John Soane. As built, Soane's prison comprised a U-plan building for male felons inside the Norman keep and a courtyard-plan building for debtors on the east side of the keep. A plan for a new gaol by William Wilkins junior was redesigned by the Society for Prison Discipline, and was erected between 1822 and 1828 to the north and east of the keep. It consisted of a central building in the shape of a truncated square, three detached radial wings and three peripheral wings. The ends of the wings were linked by two-storey blocks which had open arcades at ground floor level. The three-storey central building contained the keeper's house and chapel. A number of alterations were made to the prison during the mid-nineteenth century, including the restoration of the exterior stonework of the keep between 1834 and 1839. Before 1856, additional cells were certified for use for separate confinement. In 1884 the castle was purchased by Norwich Corporation for £4000. The prison closed in August 1887, after the opening of a new prison at Mousehold. Between 1888 and 1894 it was converted into a museum by Edward Boardman, at a cost of £22000. The museum opened on 23rd October 1894. The wings were retained, but they were gutted internally, reroofed and refenestrated. The central house, Soane's prison and the south block were demolished. The prison forms part of the Castle complex's Grade I listing.
More information : Between 1789 and 1794 a new prison was constructed to the designs of John Soane. As built, Soane's prison comprised a U-plan building for male felons inside the Norman keep and a courtyard-plan building for debtors on the east side of the keep. A plan for a new gaol by William Wilkins junior was redesigned by the Society for Prison Discipline, and was erected between 1822 and 1828 to the north and east of the keep. It consisted of a central building in the shape of a truncated square, three detached radial wings and three peripheral wings. The ends of the wings were linked by two-storey blocks which had open arcades at ground floor level. The three-storey central building contained the keeper's house and chapel. A number of alterations were made to the prison during the mid-nineteenth century, including the restoration of the exterior stonework of the keep between 1834 and 1839. Before 1856, additional cells were certified for use for separate confinement. In 1884 the castle was purchased by Norwich Corporation for £4000. The prison closed in August 1887, after the opening of a new prison at Mousehold. Between 1888 and 1894 it was converted into a museum by Edward Boardman, at a cost of £22000. The museum opened on 23rd October 1894. The wings were retained, but they were gutted internally, reroofed and refenestrated. The central house, Soane's prison and the south block were demolished. (1)

Museum still extant and open to the public as at September 2006. (2)

Sources :
Source Number : 2
Source : World Wide Web page
Source details : [Accessed 18-SEP-2006]
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Source Number :
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Howard J. 1977. The State of the Prisons, 254-6
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Built between 1789 and 1794
Monument End Date : 1794
Monument Start Date : 1789
Monument Type : Prison, Debtors Prison
Evidence : Demolished Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Addition between 1789 and 1856
Monument End Date : 1856
Monument Start Date : 1789
Monument Type : Prison, Cell Block
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : New gaol erected between 1822 and 1828
Monument End Date : 1828
Monument Start Date : 1822
Monument Type : Prison, Cell Block, House, Chapel, Gatehouse, Prison Treadmill, Boundary Wall
Evidence : Extant Building, Demolished Building, Structure
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Alterations made during mid-19th century
Monument End Date : 1866
Monument Start Date : 1833
Monument Type : Prison
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Restoration of stonework, 1834-1839
Monument End Date : 1839
Monument Start Date : 1834
Monument Type : Prison
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Prison closed 1887
Monument End Date : 1887
Monument Start Date : 1887
Monument Type : Prison
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Converted between 1888 and 1894
Monument End Date : 1894
Monument Start Date : 1888
Monument Type : Museum, Prison
Evidence : Extant Building, Demolished Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Opened in 1894
Monument End Date : 1894
Monument Start Date : 1894
Monument Type : Museum
Evidence : Extant Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : NBR Index Number
External Cross Reference Number : 93769
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : TG 20 NW 385
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : RCHME: PRISONS PROJECT
Activity type : ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Start Date : 1995-01-01
End Date : 1998-12-01