The Old Jail, Downpatrick

Map Reference: J484445 (3484, 3445)

The Old Jail at Downpatrick was built between 1789 and 1796. The architect may have been Chares Lilly. The entrance block is a two-storey three-bay structure with a central carriageway and the jail is surrounded by a high curtain wall. Within the enclosure there are two blocks of buildings. The first is the Governorís Residence.

It contained stores, chapels and staff quarters. It also contained rooms which could be used by favoured prisoners to meet family or legal counsel. The other block is a rectangular building with flanking wings projecting southwards. It originally contained 18 cells.

Some of these cells now have tableaux depicting prison life.

Cell passage

Inside a typical cell

In the courtyard there is a replica of the stocks from Dromore which were made in 1810.

The 'Dromore' stocks

It is known that a local blacksmith, Peter Daly, was paid £5.19.9 in 1798 to make a set of stocks for the jail. The jail now houses the Down Museum. It was closed in 1830 when the new jail was built.

Return to County Down List
Return to Gazetteer