The basement

The Marlborough Times and Wilts and Berks County Paper - Saturday, October 11, 1902

Town Hall cell doorAdvantage has been taken of the fall in the slope of the ground to place the cell accommodation in the basement along the south side of the building, where it is well lighted by windows with direct access to the air above the ground level.  It gives a massive and imposing appearance to this portion of the south front.  To the police entrance here access is gained through the quaint old door of the original "blind-house" with its grim appearance and interesting associations.  The large lock and curiously twisted staples of the 1653 building are again used, and from their strong and massive character they appear likely to serve their grim purpose for many generations to come.  An inner lobby leads into a large waiting room for warders.  It is provided with seats and heated by hot water pipes.  This apartment, like many others, in the building is "contrived a double debt to pay", and will also serve as a kitchen for the preparation of teas at gatherings of a festive character; a gas stove being provided, together with water and sinks for washing-up purposes.  Out of this apartment opens the strong room, which will be invaluable for the purpose of storing the borough archives and other documents of permanent interest.  It is a fire-proof apartment, and is provided with Chubb's steel fire and burglar-proof door.

Source: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre

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