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Debtors' Prison Building (originally the County Gaol)

The Debtors' Prison was built in the attractive 'English Baroque' style between 1701 and 1705. Originally the County Gaol, it is now part of York Castle Museum.

The three-storey building (facing Clifford's Tower) replaced earlier prison facilities, including:

  • the castle's gaol and dungeons (which had become unusable by 1360 as a result of structural damage caused by flooding); and
  • the 'York Kydcote' (a prison located on the old Ouse Bridge).

The front facade (see Image 1) and north end wall are faced in Tadcaster limestone ashlar, while the rear and south end walls are constructed from red-brick. Some of the stone was reused from damaged / ruined parts of both York Castle and the King's Manor.

The clock is worthy of note (see Image 2) as, in addition to being attractive, it is only fitted with one hand (an hour hand).

The area between the two forward-projecting wings was originally separated from the Eye of York by a set of railings. It was used as the prison's exercise yard.

The building has been home to the York Castle Museum since 1952.

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Debtors' Prison building (York Castle)
Eye of York

Latitude: 53.954919000000
Longitude: -1.078696000000

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