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In 1774 discussions began to take place regarding the construction of a new county gaol as the current gaol had been recognised as unfit in March of that year. It was not until 1785 that William Lumby's design was chosen. The new prison was built between 1785 and 1790. The prison was T-shaped and was divided into night rooms and cells for inmates in the base of the T, while the front range was predominantly occupied by the gaoler and by offices. Each category of inmate had an exercise yard and in 1832 an additional large yard was created at the west side of the prison for debtors. The rear prison wing was truncated when the new wing was added in the 1840s. The new gaol building was built between 1845 and 1848. It is three storied, with a short four bay female wing separated from a larger male wing. The male wing consists of nine cell bays, divided into two and seven bay sections by an area which looks as if it is a centre which has not had extra wings added. The most remarkable fittings which probably survive from the 1840s are those of the chapel in the rear part of the front wing. Each inmate had a single pew which prevented them from seeing adjacent inmates, their only view being forwards to the pulpit. In 1878 the prison was discontinued.

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