Ancestry UK

Town Gaol, Faversham, Kent

A Town Gaol was established the Market Place in Faversham in about 1813. A report in 1818 indicates that it also then functioned as a small Bridewell, or House of Correction.

In 1835, it was recorded that:

The Gaol was built about 20 years ago. It affords no means for classification or Gaol, employment of the prisoners. It consists of two cells for male prisoners, and two sleeping rooms, in the upper part of the gaoler's house, for females. When persons are taken in execution under the Court of Requests Act, they are obliged to be placed in one of the felons' cells. There were at the time I visited the gaol two persons in confinement; one for a term of imprisonment, the other committed for trial at the following sessions. The mayor and deputy mayor are considered to be the visiting justices. The gaoler has a salary of 10s. a week; the chaplain has 10l. a year. All the expenses connected with the gaol and prisoners are now paid out of the liberty rate. The expense of the maintenance of prisoners during the year, ending Michaelmas 1833, was 15l. 2s

In 1837, the Inspectors of Prisons reported:

There are three rooms in this Prison of the following dimensions;—No. 1.—12½ feet by 11 feet, and 10 feet high. No. 2.—11½ feet by 10 feet, 10 feet 3 inches high. These Rooms are on the ground floor, and have access to a yard 41 feet by l0½. No. 3.—10½ feet by 7½ feet, 8 feet high.

The Apartment, No. 3, is on the upper floor, and is generally appropriated to Females. The number of Prisoners is very small; not more than 11 having been committed in the year 1836. Of these, three were Debtors: one had been confined 20, another 28, and the third 45 days.

We beg to recommend that this place be used merely as a lock-up house for the separate confinement of Prisoners under examination, and that the Council contract, if practicable, with the County for the maintenance of all other descriptions of Prisoners.

In 1845, the Inspectors reported that, apart from debtors, the gaol was merely used for the confinement of prisoners before trial, except in the case of juvenile offenders summarily convicted who were also retained here. After trial, adults, and those sentenced to hard labour, were sent to the County Gaol and House of Correction at Canterbury. They also noted that no clergyman ever visited the prison, and no instruction of any kind was provided for the prisoners.

The prison eventually closed in about 1866 but continued to be used as a lock-up.


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