Welcome to the gaols section
During the 19th century, gaols' buildings and daily life changed dramatically to reflect the beliefs of the time. Prison regimes came to be based on the concepts of separation, silence, hard labour and moral guidance.
Buildings and Purpose
This section contains information on gaols in Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire; their design and how this reflected 19th century ideas about punishment and reform. It also includes reports made to the quarter sessions on the... More
This section looks at gaol routine in the 19th century. It includes general information as well as examples from specific gaols and archive records to illustrate the material.
At the start of the century prisons were... More
This section provides general information on how prisoners were classified and treated and what daily life was like. It also includes contemporary accounts of prisoners. More
Punishment and Rehabilitation
This section looks at daily life in gaols throughout the 19th century. The section includes general information, as well as examples from specific gaols and archive records to help explain what life in prison was like. ... More
This section looks at how prisoners were punished and rehabilitated. It includes general information as well as examples from specific gaols and archive records.By the mid Victorian period 90% of serious offenders were sent... More
This section looks at the role of prison staff such as the governor, warders, chaplain, surgeon and other staff. The section includes general information and, examples from specific gaols and archive records to illustrate... More