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Gnosall Village Lock-Up

A Grade II Listed Building in Gnosall, Staffordshire

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Latitude: 52.7844 / 52°47'3"N

Longitude: -2.2517 / 2°15'5"W

OS Eastings: 383123

OS Northings: 320786

OS Grid: SJ831207

Mapcode National: GBR 16Y.FJP

Mapcode Global: WHBDY.D80R

Entry Name: Gnosall Village Lock-Up

Listing Date: 10 January 1972

Last Amended: 15 March 2013

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1259930

English Heritage Legacy ID: 443423

Location: Gnosall, Stafford, Staffordshire, ST20

County: Staffordshire

District: Stafford

Civil Parish: Gnosall

Built-Up Area: Gnosall

Traditional County: Staffordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Staffordshire

Church of England Parish: Gnosall St Lawrence

Church of England Diocese: Lichfield

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A village lock-up of 1830-32, designed and built by James Trubshaw, re-erected on a new site within the village in 1971-2.


MATERIALS: the building is constructed from rock-faced sandstone with a sandstone flagged roof.

PLAN: it is square on plan.

EXTERIOR: the lock-up is comprised of five, large, rusticated ashlar courses with an eaves band and a pyramidal roof surmounted by a ball finial. On the south elevation there is a triangular pedimented doorway with a rusticated surround containing an early-C21, nail studded, oak door; the door contains some timbers from the original C19 door. The north, west and east elevations are blind.


By the late 1820s, as a result of rising unemployment and low wages, Gnosall was plagued by unrest and poaching. At a meeting of the parish Select Vestry on 10 June 1830, with the threat of the Swing Riots, a widespread uprising by agricultural workers in southern England, spreading northwards, it was decided to build a lock-up. James Trubshaw (1777-1853) was appointed as architect and builder and, although work commenced later in the same year, the lock-up was only completed in 1832 after the Select Vestry agreed to pay Mr Trubshaw an extra ten pounds to finish the job. With the ending of the unrest, the lock-up, which was situated at the junction of High Street, Brookhouse Road and Stafford Street, was little used and by the 1950s it had become a hen house. In 1964 Staffordshire County Council drew up plans to widen the road junction and move the lock-up to the County Museum at Shugborough. Its removal from the village was strongly opposed to by the Gnosall Women’s Institute who, as their project to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of the National Federation of Women’s Institutes in 1965, set about raising funds to purchase a piece of land on which it could be to re-sited. Although the Institute initially struggled to raise sufficient funds, their plans came to fruition after a piece of land on the south-east side of Sellman Street was gifted to them by a member’s husband. Despite the lock-up being partially damaged before it could be moved, after a lorry ran into it, work on its re-erection began in 1971 and was completed the following year.

Reasons for Listing

Gnosall village lock-up, built in 1830-32 by James Trubshaw, and re-erected on a new site within the village in 1971-2, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Architectural interest: it displays a confident, but suitably austere, classical design;

* Intactness: with the exception of the early-C21 door, the building is substantially intact;

* Rarity: as one of only three lock-ups which still survive in Staffordshire;

* Historic interest: as the local response to the confinement of inebriates and miscreants.

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