Posted by on Dec 8, 2014 in General Views | No Comments

Date: 1827
Source: drawing in magazine probably by gaol architect Richard Brown

A new City Gaol to replace the old one on Gaol Hill (site to the North of the Guildhall) was planned from 1822. It was surrounded by dispute from the start – about its site, design, architect, builder, building materials etc (see Ex Fonte no.11 1990 for a full account). It was finally sited just outside St Giles gates and completed in 1826 for a cost of £30,000, twice the original estimate.

This bird’s-eye view shows its situation on the corner between Earlham and Unthank roads, where St John’s R.C. Cathedral now stands. It was built to a modern radial plan, with stables, tread mills and a laundry housed in the rectangular projections. Looking beyond the gaol a quarry can be seen – this was the site of the future Plantation garden. A windmill beyond that marks the position of Mill Rd.

Having the gaol as his neighbour when he took over the quarry site in 1855 obviously did not deter Henry Trevor, but he must have been pleased when the gaol was moved in the 1890s and a grand building in the medieval style which he admired so greatly gave him a very different view.