Courts and judiciary

Devon Archives and Local Studies
Address: Devon Heritage Centre, Great Moor House, Bittern Road, Exeter
EX2 7NL
Phone:
01392 888700
Region or country:
England (South West)

Devon Heritage Centre holds all types of historical archives relating to the county of Devon and the City of Exeter (excluding Plymouth.) Devon Heritage Centre in Exeter generally holds collections which relate to the whole county, including the Diocesan records, county Quarter Sessions and County Council collections. This includes estate and family collections, and solicitors’ collections which cover more than one area of Devon. Most of these records are not filmed or digitised, and are only available in their original format. The West Country Studies Library, which contains the county collection of local history material is also available at the Devon Heritage Centre. It includes published books, manuscript volumes, pamphlets, journals, maps, prints, engravings, photographs, newspapers and various files relating to local parish and family history.

What can be found at the venue?:
Records or archive, Library
Significant collections relating to regional crime and punishment organisation or to a particular individual:
Devon Archives holds a substantial collection of policing records relating to the constituent forces of Devon & Cornwall that have been transferred from the South West Police Heritage Trust; many of these records can be found under the prefix PA. Also records of magistrates courts, manorial courts, juvenile courts and ecclesiastical courts; also prison records; coroners reports and inquest files, probation committees, quarter sessions.
Does the venue have an online collections catalogue?:
Yes
Web address of online collections catalogue:
Details of opening for public access and / or research services:
Visits must be booked in advance. Opening days are Wednesday and Thursday. There are two bookable sessions each day. These are from 10.00 am to 1.00 pm and 2.00 pm to 4.30 pm. There is a limit of 6 people per session.
Available services or facilities:
Cafe, Shop, Visitor parking, Toilets
Accessibility and disability arrangements / Covid requirements:
Disabled Parking:- There are some disabled parking spaces in the Great Moor House car park and the entrance is accessible via a ramp which leads to the main entrance, or via a wheelchair lift situated at the corner of the building. All public areas in the Devon Heritage Centre are on the ground floor.
Other connected heritage sites, museums or archives:
The Museum of Policing in Devon & Cornwall at: https://www.dcpolicingmuseum.co.uk/
Date information added or updated::
30/11/2021
Entry ID No::
010
Ministry of Justice Library
Address: 102 Petty France, London
SW1H 9AJ
Email:
Phone:
None given
Region or country:
England (London)

With 90,000 potential users, the MoJ library caters for a wide range of professionals, including lawyers, psychologists, economists and statisticians. As well as supplying books and journals, the library keeps all documents produced by the Ministry of Justice, preserving the ‘corporate memory’ of the department. It also collates all the bills and amendments generated in the passage of an Act through Parliament, preserving the material as a complete history of the nation’s law.

Subjects range from race-related crime to youth justice, sentencing policy to rehabilitation, weaving together political, legal, statistical and sociological works.

What can be found at the venue?:
Library
Significant collections relating to regional crime and punishment organisation or to a particular individual:
None given
Does the venue have an online collections catalogue?:
No
Web address of any other online resources:
Details of opening for public access and / or research services:
None given
Accessibility and disability arrangements / Covid requirements:
None given
Other connected heritage sites, museums or archives:
None given
Date information added or updated::
26/11/2021
Entry ID No::
005
Northampton Museum & Art Gallery
Address: Guildhall Road, Northampton
NN1 1DP
Region or country:
England (East Midlands)

The building that Northampton Museum and Art Gallery occupies was initially constructed in 1846 as a red brick L-shaped Victorian addition to the County Gaol. The Victorian gaol block comprised of rows of cells divided by iron bars along the walls. The cells were separated by a central corridor with galleried walkways connected by spiral stairs. On the first floor at the north of the building there were larger rooms that may have served as storerooms and gaolers’ rooms. At the north end of the basement floor were the condemned cells, where inmates were held prior to being hung. Hangings first took place at the gaol in 1819 on Angel Lane behind the Georgian Block. They moved there from Northampton Racecourse due to concerns about the size of the crowds gathering to view the hangings. The hanging area was known as the ‘New Drop’ and twenty people were hanged here over a period of almost 40 years. In 1852 the last public hanging at Northampton took place when Elizabeth Pinkard was executed for murdering her mother-in-law. In 1879 Gaol Commissioners deemed the site unfit in accordance with health and hygiene standards of the day and in 1880, the gaol closed.

 

What can be found at the venue?:
Historic building or site
Significant collections relating to regional crime and punishment organisation or to a particular individual:
Other than the prison building, the museum holds a few objects relating to crime and punishment in the Social History Department such as truncheons, handcuffs and a cup and plate from the Gaol Chapel.
Does the venue have an online collections catalogue?:
No
Details of opening for public access and / or research services:
The museum offers tours of the gaol building given by their history curator. The site is open by appointment only, Tuesdays to Fridays 10.00 to 15.00. Northampton Museum may be able to offer a research service – please enquire.
Available services or facilities:
Cafe, Shop, Toilets
Accessibility and disability arrangements / Covid requirements:
There are arrangements for disabled access.
Other connected heritage sites, museums or archives:
Northamptonshire Records Office holds the records and plans from the gaol.
Entry ID No::
013
Sanquhar Tolbooth Museum
Address: High Street, Sanquhar, Dumfriesshire
DG4 6BN
Phone:
01659 50186
Region or country:
Scotland

tolbooth or town house was the main municipal building of a Scottish burgh, from medieval times until the 19th century. The tolbooth usually provided a council meeting chamber, a court house and a jail.

Designed by William Adam, Sanquhar Tolbooth was built in 1735 on the site of its predecessor. A two-storey building with a tall clock tower, records suggest that stone from Sanquhar Castle was used in its construction.

What can be found at the venue?:
Historic building or site
Significant collections relating to regional crime and punishment organisation or to a particular individual:
The former cells on the ground floor are open for exhibition, as is a set of jougs attached to the wall, by the side of the prison door.
Does the venue have an online collections catalogue?:
No
Web address of any other online resources:
Details of opening for public access and / or research services:
Admission is free; the museum is seasonal so closes on 31st October; during the season it is open Tuesday to Saturdays: 10.00 to 13.00 and then 13.30 to 16.00. Timed entry tickets need to be booked via: https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/sanquhar-tolbooth-museum
Accessibility and disability arrangements / Covid requirements:
Sanquhar Tolbooth Museum is accessed via steps – please telephone for further details; public toilets are available 150m from the museum.
Other connected heritage sites, museums or archives:
None given
Date information added or updated::
26/11/2021
Entry ID No::
002
The Shire Hall, Lancaster Castle
Address: The Shire Hall, Lancaster Castle, Castle Parade, Lancaster
LA1 1YJ
Phone:
01524 64998
Region or country:
England (North West)

Dominating the local skyline, Lancaster Castle is one of England’s best-preserved castles. The castle is owned by Her Majesty the Queen, who is the Duke of Lancaster. The castle offers a glimpse into England’s often dark past through tours and special events enjoyed by modern-day visitors of all ages. Until 2011 it was a fully functioning HM Prison and was also Europe’s longest-serving prison. The Shire Hall complex is run by Lancashire County Museum Service and due to the working nature of the building access to the complex is by guided tour only. The courtrooms have witnessed many famous and infamous trials over the centuries, including those of the Lancashire Witches who were convicted and sentenced to death in 1612. Between 1800 and 1865 only the judges at the Old Bailey in London sentenced more people to death than those who sat at Lancaster Castle. The Castle has a small collection of around 500 historic objects, fixtures and fittings which are predominantly on display in the Shire Hall complex.

What can be found at the venue?:
Collection of artifacts, Historic building or site
Significant collections relating to regional crime and punishment organisation or to a particular individual:
HERALDRY DATABASE: The Shire Hall houses a splendid display of over 650 shields bearing the arms of every English monarch from Richard The Lionheart onward, as well as all the Constables of Lancaster Castle and the High Sheriffs of Lancashire (see link below).
Does the venue have an online collections catalogue?:
No
Web address of any other online resources:
Details of opening for public access and / or research services:
The castle is open to the public by appointment only or by guided tours. A research service may be available – please enquire.
Available services or facilities:
Cafe, Shop, Toilets
Accessibility and disability arrangements / Covid requirements:
We will always endeavour to provide access for disabled visitors, however the historic nature of the site can male this difficult. Our access statement can be found here: https://www.lancashire.gov.uk/media/924591/lancaster-castle-guided-tours-access-statement-may-2021.pdf
Other connected heritage sites, museums or archives:
The Castle itself is owned by the Duchy of Lancaster and we are one of several organisations on the site. Lancashire Constabulary Police Museum; the Judges Lodgings Lancaster at: https://www.lancashire.gov.uk/leisure-and-culture/museums/judges-lodgings/
Winchcombe Museum
Address: The Old Town Hall, Winchcombe, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire
GL54 5LJ
Region or country:
England (South West)

The museum is located on the upper floor in the Victorian Old Town Hall building which is situated at the T-junction in the centre of Winchcombe. It can easily be recognised by the large round clock overhanging the main road. Since becoming redundant in 1883.

The museum also houses a collection of British and International police uniforms – both historic and modern.

What can be found at the venue?:
Collection of artifacts, Historic building or site
Significant collections relating to regional crime and punishment organisation or to a particular individual:
The museum contains the Ross Simms police collection; the Old Town Hall has had many uses including a local Court of Petty Sessions (with easy access to the stocks)
Does the venue have an online collections catalogue?:
No
Web address of any other online resources:
Details of opening for public access and / or research services:
The website suggests the museum is not currently open to the public because of Covid restrictions.
Available services or facilities:
Shop
Accessibility and disability arrangements / Covid requirements:
We have a lift, so the museum is suitable for wheelchair users.
Other connected heritage sites, museums or archives:
None given
Date information added or updated::
26/11/2021
Entry ID No::
001