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ILCHESTER GAOL

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On 3 sites from 1166 - 1843. Ilchester Gaol and House of Correction was situated at Northover, on the north bank of the river Ivel, by 1615. The prison was extended by the addition of 26 cells in 1789. By 1808, the prison had a quadrangular plan, with ranges of buildings around courtyards. Dayrooms were located on the ground floor with sleeping cells on the floors above. The entrance was to the south. The central governor's house, opposite the gatehouse, was flanked by the chapel and male infirmary to the west and by the time men's ward to the east. Running south from the west end of the infirmary was a wing for male prisoners. Lying south of the time men's ward were the debtor's apartments, a stable and cow house and a carpenter's shop and conversation room. On the west side of the prison was an L-plan female prison. By 1821 a number of additions had been made. A detatched building north of the gaoler's house, containing a wash house and a bakehouse on the ground floor and a laundry on the first floor, had been erected by 1810. The courtyards had been subdivided. Additions had been made to the debtors' prison and a two storey factory had been erected west of the female prison. Further plans were proposed but it is not clear if any of these were carried out. The prison closed in March 1843. In 1949 the former wash house and laundry survived as 'Gaol Cottages'.

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