I’ve been thinking for a few weeks that it had been a while since I have participated in Norm’s Thursday Doors. So yesterday when I was in Castle Cary I made sure I had my camera on me as this door always catches my eye when I am there.

This door is the outer door of Castle Cary’s Roundhouse. You will find it on Bailey Hill just behind the market hall. There are, according to the plaque, only 4 Roundhouses in the country however even the local council now admits there are at least six and I have already identified quite few more when I was preparing this post. Although I admit of a different design. Castle Cary Round House

Interesting one site says Hampshire has no record of village lock ups. If true, I wonder where their miscreants went?  You see roundhouses were temporary lock-ups in villages and small towns for local rogues and miscreants. Castle Cary’s was built in 1779 and is 7ft in diameter and 10ft high. The only light coming from the two ventilation grills high up in the roof.

When I was googling its history I came across a suggestion that its roof inspired the design of British police helmets. Rather like a policeman's hatI think that is probably wishful thinking as most other sites advise that the design origins are military and many police forces when they were first formed had quite different style of hats. However I do agree that the roof looks like a ‘custodian style’ helmet! Not sure when the Roundhouse was last used as a prison, but probably sometime in the 1840s when county police forces were being set up and were required to have their own secure cells. These days it is a wedding venue. You really could say you were entering ‘shackledom’ if you got married here!

20 thoughts

    1. I’m with you on its use as a wedding venue. I was once a Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages and can just imagine the difficulties of writing in the register in there!!


  1. Nice door! The cost of building new prisons are in the multi-millions of dollars these days; maybe this is the solution to building new prisons (if they use them for weddings the prisoners can’t say this is cruel and unusual punishment). 🙂

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  2. Very original door post indeed. Lovely construction to the door but I can’t help but think how uncomfortable it must have been to be locked up in there.

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  3. Yikers! Look at that step! How curious that the doorway was built so high with a step that’s less than functional!

    Love the roundhouse with its interesting roof. It’s like a little turret sent out on its own to be independent 🙂


    1. Thanks Sherry 🙂 not sure I’d wanted to have been locked up there (not that I ever would have done anything to have been locked up of course!!!)


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