Tiny prison saved by town council
THE future of a tiny prison in Eaton Socon looks more secure after a town council stepped in to save it. Doubt surrounded the fate of the famous lock-up, which dates from 1826, after it was discovered emergency repairs were needed but its owner could not
THE future of a tiny prison in Eaton Socon looks more secure after a town council stepped in to save it.
Doubt surrounded the fate of the famous lock-up, which dates from 1826, after it was discovered emergency repairs were needed but its owner could not be found.
Enquiries made by town councillors revealed that the lock-up was formerly owned by Eaton Socon Parish Council until it was abolished in the 1970s. St Neots Town Council therefore concluded that the town council is the statutory owner of the building.
The town council has now agreed to take on the management of the building and make sure it is watertight. Its roof, which was originally made with steel and covered with tiles to keep the prisoners in, is leaking. The tiles are loose and brick-work on the walls is damaged.
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Emergency repairs of up to £500 are to be untaken and grants are to be applied for to bring the building up to a good standard.
Mayor of St Neots, Cllr Bob Eaton, said: "It is a good idea. The building needed saving and the repairs are only minor."
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The building has been part of the town's heritage for 200 years and is believed to be one of only three lock-ups left in Huntingdonshire.
Unlike most historical lock-ups which are built to hold just one prisoner, the small prison in Eaton Socon was built to hold two.