Record Details

NHER Number:13361
Type of record:Building
Name:Bridewell, Wymondham


The Bridewell was built between 1785-7, on the site of a 17th century building. It was partially rebuilt in 1810, and altered at various dates in the 19th century. In 1994-6 trial excavations in the yard noted a medieval undercroft and passage.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 1129 0152
Map Sheet:TG10SW

Full description

1785-7, on site of 17th century building. Part rebuilt 1810, altered at various dates in 19th century.

1994-1996. Excavation.
Carried out in the courtyard by the Wymondham Heritage Trust, prior to conversion for use as a heritage and social centre.
An unexpected discovery was that of an attached barrel-vaulted undercroft of medieval date which had been incorporated into the later cellars. There is no other record of building on the site prior to the 17th century.
See secondary file for more details.
Principal reference for all years of excavation is (S2). The results of this work are also summarised in (S6)-(S8).
E. Rose (NLA), 2 September 1997 amended by M. Langham-Lopez (HES), 12 July 2013.

The prison consulted with miller William Cubitt and mill manufacturers on Norwich to produce a treadmill for them like that at Swaffham Gaol. Installed around 1822 it was removed when the prison was closed in 1825.
See (S4).
W. Arnold (HES), 16 February 2011.

November 2011. Historic Building Recording.
Building recording was undertaken ahead of proposals to convert the existing offices at No 14 into residential dwellings.
See report and photographic survey (S5).
S. Howard (HES), 22 December 2011.

Monument Types

  • UNDERCROFT (Medieval - 1066 AD? to 1539 AD?)
  • PRISON (16th Century to 19th Century - 1540 AD? to 1825 AD)
  • MAGISTRATES COURT (18th Century to 21st Century - 1787 AD? to 2100 AD?)
  • AMBULANCE GARAGE (Late 20th Century to 21st Century - 1967 AD to 2002 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • Listed Building
  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Illustration: Various. Various. Architectural plans.
---Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1996. TG 1101W - Z.
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1996. Building on the past. 12 November.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2010. A brief encounter with rail heritage.
---Monograph: Pevsner, N and Wilson, W. 1999. Norfolk 2: North-West and South. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. p 805.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2012. Museum could run out of cash by 2014. 4 April.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Photograph: BPF 17, HBM 23-26, HVT 17-35, HFE 22-3.
---Newspaper Article: Norwich Mercury. 1983. The lock-up life. 22 July.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1987-1993. [Articles on the proposals of different uses and the sale of the Bridewell, Wymondham].
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1988. Down among the prisoners in the dungeons of the past. 16 December.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1990. JPs' doorstop was a bomb. 9 April.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1994-1995. [Articles on the archaeological work undertaken at Bridewell, Wymondham].
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1994-1996. [Articles on the Bridewell, Wymondham becoming a museum].
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1997. One clink leads to many others. 31 March.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1997. Royal arms form old court house were saved. 17 April.
---Collection: Norfolk Historic Environment Record Staff. 1975-[2000]. HER Record Notes. Norfolk Historic Environment Service.
<S1>Publication: Hawkins, J.. 1988. Wymondham Bridewell.
<S2>Publication: Jenson, N.. 1997. Wymondham Bridewell. & excav rpt.
<S3>Article in Serial: Ponsford, M. and Jackson, R. 1998. Post-medieval Britain and Ireland in 1996. Post-Medieval Archaeology. Vol 31 (for 1997) pp 257-332. p 280.
<S4>Archive: NIAS. Norfolk Industrial Archaeology Society Records.
<S5>Unpublished Report: Lucas Hickman Smith Architects. 2011. Historic Building Recording Pro Forma Report. The Wymondham Bridewell. Historic Building Recording.
<S6>Article in Serial: Nenk, B. S., Margeson, S. and Hurley, M. 1996. Medieval Britain and Ireland in 1995. Medieval Archaeology. Vol XL pp 234-318. p 275.
<S7>Article in Serial: Gurney, D. (ed.). 1996. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk 1995. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLII Pt III pp 397-412. p 411.
<S8>Article in Serial: Gurney, D. and Penn, K. (eds). 1997. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk 1996. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLII Pt IV pp 547-564. p 563.

Related records - none

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