Bedford County GaolShow/Hide_Details
Watercolour by T Fisher, c1820 of the County Gaol.
The Quarter Sessions minutes of Easter 1786 [QSM 18] record that the Justices of the Peace wanted to enlarge the gaol. A number of difficulties including the purchase of adjoining land delayed the build. In 1798 a Committee was set up to oversee the construction of a new Gaol. They recorded their decisions in a special minute book [QGE 1]. They stated that they deemed both the existing County Gaol and House of Correction in the gaol ‘insufficient’ and ‘inconvenient’. One of the Committee was Francis Russell, 5th Duke of Bedford, who sold his land in Dovehouse Close, deemed a suitable site for the prison, to the County for the nominal sum of 10 shillings [QGE 3/21].
On 6th June 1798 the architect John Wing produced plans and estimates for the building of a new gaol and house of correction, and the committee unanimously agreed on plan no.3. He also gave an estimate of the cost of building, £6850 4s. The contract was signed on 11th Jul 1798. The Gaol was officially opened on 18th June 1801.
9th Jun 2007 by Diane Earl
Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Key Stage 4+