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Buildings and Purpose

A History of Huntingdon County Gaol 1768-1892

Huntingdon New County Gaol
Huntingdon New County Gaol

The County Gaol has been located at two different sites in the town.

Huntingdon Old County Gaol

A gaol had been built by 1768 in Orchard Lane in Huntingdon. Conditions were appalling even by early 19th century standards, and it was closed in 1830. The barred windows are still visible today at ground level. Few records survive.

Huntingdon New County Gaol

The New County Gaol and House of Correction was built in 1829 in St Peters Road, Huntingdon. The building was enlarged in 1850. In 1877 the Home Office took control of the prison, which was closed in 1892, and its prisoners were transferred to Bedford. The Record Office has a number of documents of the prison, including some registers of prisoners admitted, correspondence re the construction of the gaol, and a poster of 1847 giving notice of seven escaped prisoners. The habitual criminal returns (1870-78) include photographs of offenders.