Cell accommodation

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

One of the five remaining Town Hall cells. Photo taken in 2016Eight cells have been constructed for male prisoners and four for female prisoners, so arranged that when there are fewer female prisoners and more of the male sex, ten can be used for the latter and two for the former, with separate corridors.  Beyond that, there are movable stalls for six prisoners, for use in case of emergency.  The cells are heated by hot water, and as the windows in this particular case must not be provided to open, a means of ventilation has been furnished in the window sills, through which fresh air is brought in, over the hot water pipes.  An exit for foul air has been provided in each cell, connected with a ventilator on the roof.  Every cell is furnished with a food trap, which falls down and forms a table to receive the prisoner's fare; there is also a peep hole, and each door is fitted with Hobb's patent cell lock.  The floors are of cement concrete, there are separate lavatories for male and female prisoners, and it is a most gratifying circumstance that there is not a spot of damp in any of the cell accommodation, nor, indeed, throughout the whole building, if we except the strong room, where, owing to the difficulty of getting air to play upon the walls, they have not yet become quite dry.  The cells are, in fact, quite equal to those provided in places used for the permanent detention of prisoners, and they are superior to those found in many of such buildings.  The safety of the prisoners has been secured, in the event of fire, by the construction over the basement of fire proof floors in concrete, with steel girders.

 

Source: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre

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