June 5, 2013

Gaol Cell

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Walking through the streets Warwick on our first day in the UK last June, we happened upon this door and lock that seemed out of place — even for this very medieval city. It wasn’t the apparent age of the door and lock (everything in Warwick is old), it was the fact that it was facing the street. We couldn’t help but wonder what it was and why it was there.

The sign above this securely locked door explained: “Original outer door of a prisoners’ cell formerly within the county gaol rebuilt on this site 1695 (following the distruction of the original building by fire in 1694) and remaining in use until 1861”

And yes, my American friends, Gaol = Jail. It’s a British thing.


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  1. All that history that we walk past each day. I love the grain and colour of the wood, so many people have walked through that door. Thanks for sharing.

  2. The Founding Father’s risked their lives so we could spell it jail, and take the “U” out of colour and humour. Maybe they had other issues as well, but I’m not sure.

    As for the building, I like to think that locals still call it the “new gaol” since it replaced the one that burned down in 1694.

    What a great little image and detail to think about.