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Former lock-up c40m NE of Church Farm

A Grade II Listed Building in Hilperton, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.3324 / 51°19'56"N

Longitude: -2.1847 / 2°11'4"W

OS Eastings: 387228

OS Northings: 159269

OS Grid: ST872592

Mapcode National: GBR 1SN.DGC

Mapcode Global: VH96X.2RWZ

Entry Name: Former lock-up c40m NE of Church Farm

Listing Date: 13 November 1962

Last Amended: 11 November 2016

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1194173

English Heritage Legacy ID: 314451

Location: Hilperton, Wiltshire, BA14

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Hilperton

Built-Up Area: Trowbridge

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Hilperton with Whaddon St Michael and All Angels

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury

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A late-C17 village lock up or blind house, altered in the early C20, and restored in 1978.


A late-C17 village lock-up or blind house, altered in the circa early C20, and restored in 1978.

MATERIALS: the lock up has limestone ashlar walls and roof.

PLAN: it has an unequal sided octagonal single cell plan.

EXTERIOR: the small, single storey building has a doorway with plain, limestone chamfered surround facing the street, and with a late-C20 door. The building has a plat band to a domed roof, and is topped with a ball finial. The rear, facing a private garden, was not inspected.

INTERIOR: not inspected.


The lock up or blind house in Hilperton dates from the late C17. It was altered in the early C20, when a door was inserted to the rear to allow access from an adjacent garden, but was subsequently restored in 1978.
Lock ups, or blind houses, are small buildings built as temporary prisons for the incarceration of drunkards, vagrants and people disturbing the peace. Generally stone built but occasionally wooden, they are square, round or octagonal and contained either one cell or one for either sex. A small, sometimes barred window was often included but the inside was always dim, hence the term 'blind house'. In some examples an iron cradle in which the prisoner slept survives. They were often built by the parish or as a gift to the village or town by a wealthy resident and are generally centrally placed within the settlement. Blind houses went out of use in the mid-19th century when they were made redundant by the formation of a regular police service.

Reasons for Listing

The late-C17 lock up c 40m north east of Church Farm, Hilperton, Wiltshire, altered in the early C20 and restored in 1978, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Architectural interest: as an early and good example of a village lock up;

* Historic interest: as an interesting reminder of the development of maintaining law and order in rural areas in the late C17;

* Intactness: despite later alterations and its restoration in 1978, it has survived mostly intact;

* Group value: it forms an interesting group with the adjacent Hilperton War Memorial (listed Grade II).

Selected Sources

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