Record Details

NHER Number:13261
Type of record:Building
Name:Post medieval lock-up


The lock up here dates to the 16th century and takes the form of a gabled block of two bays with blank arches on the ground floor. This block had a single entrance and a large barred window. It was largely demolished in 1968 and only the barred window arch was salvaged and reset across the road in the public lavatories.


  • A post medieval lock-up in Thetford.  © Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service


Grid Reference:TL 8716 8297
Map Sheet:TL88SE

Full description

Cage or lockup. Called late 16th century by Kelly, but (S1) thinks it looks later, and it is not mentioned by Martin (late 18th century).
Information from (S2).

Kelly's date was in fact 1581.
When (S1) saw it it stood on the north side of Cage Lane and he described it as gabled, of two bays, with blank arches on the ground floor. One arch had a doorway set in and the other had a big barred window. The building was demolished in 1968 and only the barred window arch was salvaged and reset across the road in the public lavatories.
E. Rose (NAU), 19 May 1983.

19 May 1983. Site visit.
The window arch is of stone quoins with narrower arch lining and keystone, in vaguely Renaissance style. The base of the arch is blocked to approximately 1.3m off the ground where the iron grille begins. The stocks are now inside. It does indeed look later than 1581, though its rebuilt state makes it all look new.
Photograph (S3) in file.
E. Rose (NAU), 19 May 1983.

Old photograph in file taken prior to demolition shows that the two arches were designed as an arcade with stone piers, but the wall above them was Flemish bond brick. It also shows a huge circular blocked window in the gable and a finial. The present reset arch is therefore accurately reconstructed. The section above the arches in the old photograph itself looks like a late reconstruction. (Also in the photograph is a thatched roof and a brick and flint gable stated on the reverse to be a Friends Meeting House - now demolished).
Information from (S4)
E. Rose (NLA) 23 November 1993.

For another photograph of the lock-up and one of the adjacent remains of the Quaker chapel see (S5).

Monument Types

  • PRISON (Post Medieval to Late 20th Century - 1540 AD to 1968 AD?)
  • STOCKS (Post Medieval to 21st Century - 1540 AD to 2100 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Monograph: Pevsner, N and Wilson, W. 1999. Norfolk 2: North-West and South. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. p 713.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S1>Monograph: Pevsner, N. 1962. North-West and South Norfolk. The Buildings of England. 1st Edition. p 346.
<S2>Record Card: Ordnance Survey Records / Pastscape.
<S3>Photograph: 1983. CLD 31.
<S4>Photograph: Cage Lane: Old Lock-up and Stocks and gable of Friends Meeting House. Print, b&w.
<S5>Monograph: Osborne, D.. 1996. Thetford: A Century Remembered. From 1900 to the present day.. p 120.

Related records - none

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