MENU
A chronicle of the history of the City of Worcester and the County of Worcestershire

History of Worcester & Worcestershire

Crime and Legal Articles

The County Gaol

The County Gaol

The County Gaol was built in 1813 in the style of a medieval castle, and because of this, the name of Salt Lane was changed to Castle Street. Mr. Sandy's was the architect, following the principals of John Howard. It contained 90 cells, and was enlarged in 1839 to give 80 extra cells. This was the time of great political agitation, when during the summer, the gaol was excessively crowded with Chartists from Dudley, with cells intended for one containing three.


The City Gaol

The City Gaol

Over the centuries, the City had many prisons. There was the gaol at the east end of St Nicholas Street, a Bridewell at the bottom of Cucken Street (Copenhagan Street) and below the gatehouse of the Foregate were cells which, for a long period, were used as a prison for strangers 


Social power and authority

Social power and authority

Today, the state controls all aspects of the legal system, but in the past there were three distinct legal authorities which controlled rural life. The Judges and the local Justices of the Peace administered the laws of the land; local legal rules and customs

Feckenham Court Leet

Feckenham Court Leet

Ancient manorial customs continued in some places well into the last century. The Evesham Journal of December 1, 1928, reported on Feckenham Court Leet: 'According to the old custom, the jury assembled under the oak tree on the Village Green, where the Steward

Ancient Courts on the Hill Tops

Ancient Courts on the Hill Tops

Way back in the very distant past, long before there was centralized legal administration, justice was administered upon the hill tops, and in some places, ancient stones still stand to mark those special places, and surprisingly, legal customs continued

We have now collated 487 articles on the History of Worcester & Worcestershire.