Barrack Street in Warwick used to be known as Bridewell Lane because the House of Correction or Bridewell stood on one side of it. On the opposite side stood the County Gaol which was later to become a barracks, hence the street name change. This bricked up archway used to be the site of public executions. The small dark marks in the photo each side of the arch and above it show where the scaffold was fixed to the wall. You can still see two small rings in the wall of the gaol and one in the chapel opposite (another has disappeared) where chains were fixed to keep the crowds under control when executions were carried out. Warwick gaol moved to a new site in Cape Road in 1861 and the last public execution in England (elsewhere) was in 1868.
A prison cell door
Towards the Northgate end of Barrack Street stands a cell door from the old Warwick gaol, with a plaque above giving details about it. The door is firmly locked against any escape.
This series of articles is inspired by the publication ‘Little Known Warwickshire’ based on talks given by A.W. Winterburn of Leamington Spa.