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Prison gate, former governor's house and chaplain's house, HM Prison Aylesbury (Aylesbury Gaol)

A Grade II Listed Building in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire

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Latitude: 51.8226 / 51°49'21"N

Longitude: -0.8017 / 0°48'6"W

OS Eastings: 482688

OS Northings: 214450

OS Grid: SP826144

Mapcode National: GBR D2R.N50

Mapcode Global: VHDV5.2G15

Entry Name: Prison gate, former governor's house and chaplain's house, HM Prison Aylesbury (Aylesbury Gaol)

Listing Date: 5 February 1973

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1117983

English Heritage Legacy ID: 41802

Location: Aylesbury, Aylesbury Vale, Buckinghamshire, HP20

County: Buckinghamshire

District: Aylesbury Vale

Civil Parish: Aylesbury

Built-Up Area: Aylesbury

Traditional County: Buckinghamshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Buckinghamshire

Church of England Parish: Aylesbury

Church of England Diocese: Oxford

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Listing Text

This list entry was subject to a Minor Enhancement on 31/05/2018

SP 81 SW

Nos 13-21 (odd)
Prison gate, former governor’s house and chaplain’s house, HM Prison Aylesbury (Aylesbury Gaol)

(Formerly listed as No 13, Gateway to H M Prison and No 2, BIERTON ROAD)

A prison gate, flanked by the houses of the governor (east) and chaplain (west). Dated 1845 on the frieze above the gate and designed by Charles James Pierce and Major J Jebb. Red brick with stucco quoins and dressings and an E-shaped plan. The central, tall arch has a massive, rusticated doorway with a portcullis motif in the tympanum. The prominent frieze has a dentil cornice, above which is a blocking course. There is a small, wooden bell turret to the roof. At either side are recessed, two-storey, three-sash-window wings with wide window surrounds and deep, stucco parapets. Beyond these the projecting end blocks each have two taller storeys with first floor sill bands. Three sashes in wide surrounds and central doorways. Above each are a frieze, modillion cornice and blocking course.

Aylesbury Gaol holds a significant place in the campaign for women’s suffrage. It housed a number of suffragette prisoners arrested during mass demonstrations by the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), a militant suffrage organisation whose members used direct action in support of their campaign for the vote. In March 1912 suffragettes carried out a mass window-smashing raid in London. Holloway Gaol, the usual prison for suffragettes, could not cope with the numbers arrested, so many were sent to Aylesbury. On 5 April, the prisoners began a secret hunger strike which went undetected for several days, and when the authorities found out, hunger strikers were fed by force, although four were released on health grounds.

The Aylesbury hunger strike spread to other prisons to become the largest mass hunger strike undertaken by suffragettes, with over eighty prisoners taking part. Aylesbury became the focus for protests against forcible feeding and on 13 April 1912 over 100 protesters marched on the gaol to hold a meeting at the gates. Suffragette prisoners waved handkerchiefs from their cell windows.

This list entry was amended in 2018 as part of the centenary commemorations of the 1918 Representation of the People Act.

Listing NGR: SP8268814450

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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