Building Name

Goal and House of Correction Beaumaris

Anglesey, Wales
New build

By 1829 the condition of the Old Gaol at Beaumaris, built in 1727, had seriously deteriorated to a state where the escape of prisoners was not uncommon. It was thus determined to build a new goal at a cost of £6,500 on a piece of land at Clay Pits, where a number of cottages, stables, cow-houses and an orchard once stood. A turnkey (gaoler) was employed for £52 per annum with his wife acting as a matron.

Designed by Joseph Hansom (who patented the 'Hansom' cab) and Edward Welch the former County Gaol is an exceedingly grim and forbidding building. A solidly constructed, two-storey coursed dressed stone building with slate roof over wide flat eaves. Door and side lights are framed in massive crude slab-jambs of granite and plain lintel. Internal ranges have cell windows with slab surrounds and massive grilles, having a central turret with enormous moulded cornice. Although at the time the new gaol represented a very marked advance in prison construction and management it had however a relatively short life. Having been enlarged in 1867 the gaol was closed in 1878 and subsequently used as a police station and lock-up. The gaol re-opened as a museum in 1975.

Reference           Buildings of Wales Gwynedd