Ancestry UK

Local Prisons

The term 'local prison' came into official usage in the nineteenth century to differentiate locally administered prisons from the growing number of convict prisons run by the central government. Local prisons included a variety of establishments such as county and town gaols, bridewells and debtors' prisons.

Following the abolition in 1948 of sentences of 'penal servitude' or any others involving hard labour, the distinction between the two classes of prison became unnecessary.


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