Stern stone no­tice sig­nalled a pur­ga­tory for pris­on­ers

Amer­sham Mu­seum

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - PEOPLEANDPLACES -

UN­DER­NEATH the Mar­ket Hall in Old Amer­sham is a very firm no­tice say­ing, in firm cap­i­tal let­ters, ‘COM­MIT NO NUI­SANCE’.

Be­cause Amer­sham had no jail, in the 17th and 18th cen­turies those who were ac­cused of any of­fence had to be taken to be tried at the court in Ayles­bury.

The very small barred lock-up be­low the no­tice – per­haps it should have been called ‘ The Black Hole of Amer­sham’ – was where those ac­cused were put un­til they could be trans­ported to the County Jail.

The stark warn­ing on the no­tice – and the un­pleas­ant con­di­tions within the lock-up – hope­fully acted as a de­ter­rent to any­one con­tem­plat­ing bad be­hav­iour in the cen­tre of the old town.

olden times We are for­tu­nate at such his­toric tefacts have been es­erved through the ges to give us a et­ter idea of what fe in the town must ave been like in AN­THONY DEL TUFO, MU­SEUM VOL­UN­TEER

49 High Street, Old Amer­sham Bucks, HP7 0DP 01494 723700 www.amer­sham­mu­

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