Ancestry UK

Borough Gaol, Clitheroe, Lancashire

In around 1830, a Borough Gaol was built in York Street, Clitheroe, adjacent to the Town Hall. In 1835, it was reported that:

There is a Borough Gaol, consisting of two cells; it is not very convenient, and is said to be incurably damp. On that account, debtors under process from the borough court are not confined there, but in a large room in the Town-hall, which is dry and commodious. The gaol is not used, except as a lock-up house for persons committed to Preston or Lancaster. It rarely occurs that a prisoner is detained there all night. The gaol is visited by the county magistrates. The in-bailiff also superintends it.

The gaol was subsequently incorporated into a police station on the site and appears to have continued in use up until the 1880s. The building now forms part of a complex which includes the town library, with the old cells forming part of the library's storage and administration area.


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  • No individual records identified for this establishment — any information welcome.
  • The National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 4DU. Has a wide variety of crime and prison records going back to the 1770s, including calendars of prisoners, prison registers and criminal registers.
  • Find My Past has digitized many of the National Archives' prison records, including prisoner-of-war records, plus a variety of local records including Manchester, York and Plymouth. More information.
  • Prison-related records on Ancestry UK include Prison Commission Records, 1770-1951, and local records from London, Swansea, Gloucesterhire and West Yorkshire. More information.
  • The Genealogist also has a number of National Archives' prison records. More information.


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