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Eaton Socon lock-up

Built in 1827 when Eaton Socon was in Bedfordshire, local miscreants were held in the lock up before being taken to face the magistrate in Bedford.

Most lock ups have been demolished or converted nowadays so not many still exist so this one, nicknamed The Cage, is a pretty unique prison and you can visit the lock up today which is located on School Lane in Eaton Socon, opposite St Mary’s Church.

In the early days the Cage was used quite regularly and seems to have been very effective. In 1858, though, a prisoner did manage to escape from it. The St Neots Chronicle for 27 February 1858 contained the following report.

On Friday last a prisoner, charged with felony, was placed in the lock-up about noon, to await his examination the next morning. About ten o’clock at night, police-constable Bedlow saw him safely locked up, and about twelve o’clock went again, but the bird had flown, having made a hole about two feet square in the brick work, which was three bricks thick. The lock-up was always considered to be impregnable, as several notorious characters have tried to make their escape out of it, but have failed. The prisoner is an Irishman, and is known to be a very clever and expert thief. The affair caused much merriment amongst the villagers.

The Lock-up is open several times a year and for the latest times visit Eatons Community Association website.