Serving the communities of Bures St Mary and Bures Hamlet

Bures Lock-Up or Gaol




church sq
Circa 1882

The village gaol was located in Church Square on the right of the photo.

Like most villages at the turn of the century, Bures maintained its very own gaol. There was nothing unusual in this, most villages locked up their troublesome parishioners to keep them out of harms way.


This old photograph looking towards Chambers Corner possibly shows the "Lockup" to the left of the houses.

Today, there is an entrance gate into the churchyard by the vicarage entrance.

It is believed the lock-up was to the right of this gate.

There was a large open shed called the "Prisoners Cage" adjoining two old cottages in the Church yard where the War Memorial now stands. On Saturday nights, there was often a rowdy crowd from nearby villagers, several of them getting drunk and often ending in a fight. The ring leaders were put into the "Prisoners Cage" by the police and kept there until morning, when they were taken to Boxford before a magistrate


THOS. WILLINGHAM of Bures, labourer; single, received 27 Jan.1848,
aged 17, height 5ft 6 in dark complexion, dark brown hair, grey eyes, oval visage,
good health, neither lame nor ruptured, no infectious disease, apparel clean.
Personal possessions on admittance: 1 hat,1 coat, 1 jacket,1 waistcoat, 1 pair trousers, stockings, shirt, boots.

Born Bures. Father was Thos.Willingham, labourer of Bures.
Cannot read or write. 'Charged with stealing 3 fowls, the property of Geo.Norden of
Assington who prosecuted

Magistrate's name _Rev N.W.Hallward. Date of warrant 27 Jan.1848
Sentenced at Quarter Sessions 20March,1848 to one calendar month in gaol
and whipped.
Has been in custody before for poaching.

HANNAH SPOONER of Bures received,22 Jan.1864, aged 29, complexion fair,
brown hair, brown eyes, oval visage, good state of health, neither lame nor ruptured, no infectious diseases; apparel clean

Born Stoke by Nayland, Father was Robert Spooner labourer of Assington, Single, Cannot read or write.
Offence: stealing 3 lbs of_feathers at Bures.

Committed at Boxford; Magistrates: Rev.N. W.Hallward, J.S Hallifax
Date of warrant 22 Jan.1864. Sentenced to six weeks hard labour.
Time will expire 3 March,1864

church sqCompared to the photograph above, no evidence of these buildings exist.
Replaced with Church boundary wall and War Memorial.

Acknowledgement to Peter Richards for his help & photographs