Ancestry UK

Borough Gaol, Bideford, Devon

The Bideford Town Gaol occupied part of the Bideford Town Hall, erected in 1698. Known locally as 'The Pit', the prison had two sections: one for malefactors, the other for debtors.

In 1851, a new Town Hall was opened on Bridge Street which also included a number of cells.


Note: many repositories impose a closure period of up to 100 years for records identifying individuals. Before travelling a long distance, always check that the records you want to consult will be available.


  • Prison Oracle - resources those involved in present-day UK prisons.
  • GOV.UK - UK Government's information on sentencing, probation and support for families.