18th Century two-cell Lock-up

Lock-up, summer 2000 Lock-up, date taken unknown

Taken Summer 2000

Date unknown

History of its listing as an Ancient Monument and known repairs.

On May 15th, 1953, the then Clerk to Monkton Combe Parish Council wrote to The Ministry of Works requesting whether the lock-up could become an Ancient Monument. It was stated that the lock-up was erected in the early/mid 18th century and that up until about 1895/1900 there were stocks outside. The building is approx. 8ft square with a domed roof and built of Bath stone. It is fitted with an iron studded oak door and contains two cells. The last time any money was spent on repairing the lock-up was in 1906 and repairs were now necessary.

On July 3rd, 1953, Mr. D. McCallion from the Ministry of Works replied that the building will be listed as an Ancient Monument. However, they would not undertake any repairs, even when listed. This will be the responsibility of the owners (The Parish Council). The Ministry is only responsible for repairs when it has taken a building into guardianship, but their funds are so limited that they could not accept the lock-up on that basis. However, they would be only too pleased to offer advice on repairs and maintenance.

On September 17th, 1953, Mr. R.S. Simms, writing on behalf of the Chief Inspector of Ancient Monuments, wrote saying he would be in Bath on Friday 9th October and would come and inspect the lock-up and meet members from the Parish Council. He remembers the building as he was at school in Monkton Combe.

On October 9th, 1953, the lock-up was inspected. The historian noted that it was a prime example of a lock-up and of particular interest having two cells. It was also considered to be in good condition. They advised that the following works be carried out:

  • Clean and grout the open joints in the masonry
  • Remove the cement pointing and re-point in lime mortar (2 to 1)
  • Re-point the worn joints in similar lime mortar
  • Remove the iron lug below the string course under the dome
  • Re-bed the stone jamb at the foot of the inner door
  • Replace the existing frame to the door and treat the door and frame with clear Cuprinol.

On January 20th, 1954, an estimate of 12 was given by Male & Marchant of Freshford for carrying out the repairs. The estimate was accepted.

On March 27th, 1956, a notification was received from The Ministry of Housing and Local Government stating that the lock-up now officially appears in the list of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest in the Rural District of Bathavon, as compiled by the Minister of Housing and Local Government on the 1st February 1956.

On June 11th, 1968, a letter of that date was received from Rowland Coles Ltd., of Peasedown St. John, in which they describe the oak door they had just fitted to the lock-up - 'The door was constructed from 2" English Oak and the frame ex 4" x 3" English Oak and an illustration is attached hereto. A metal grille was inserted as required and, as a feature, false antique mild steel wrought hinges were affixed. Additional features are the raised beads, also in oak, and antique studs.'
All the above information was obtained from Monkton Combe Parish Council records.

December, 2002 - more repairs are now needed to the lockup, mainly replacing mortar. Permission has been sought to do this and we are still in the process of arranging the repairs.

September, 2003 - The above repairs have now been completed.

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