We are pleased to acknowledge the work of the Staffordshire Record Office
Volunteer Group in making this online index possible.
Index to Stafford Gaol Photograph Albums, 1877 - 1916
Gate-house at Stafford Gaol c.1869-1871
The first mention of a gaol in Stafford for the use of the county's sheriff was
in 1185, and it is likely that the gaol for Staffordshire prisoners was fixed
at Stafford from the early fourteenth century. Courts were held for different
purposes not only in Stafford but also in Wolverhampton, Penkridge and
Lichfield. However, in 1559 an Act laid down that Stafford should be the
location of the Staffordshire Quarter Sessions, and from 1579 the Assizes were
also fixed there.
The gaol first opened on its current site in what is now Gaol Road in 1793.
Previous gaols had been sited close by, either in the now-demolished North
Gate, or in its vicinity. Since then Stafford Gaol has been extended numerous
times, and various of the buildings demolished and rebuilt.
In 1916 the gaol was turned over for use as a military detention barracks until
1921, at which point it was closed temporarily. It reopened for civilian use in
1939 and remains in use today.
Scope of this index
This index covers the surviving photograph albums, which cover the periods
given below. There is a total of 6,300 entries in this index.
Prisoners held in Stafford Gaol at the time of these photograph albums included
not only people convicted at the Staffordshire Quarter Sessions, at the various
borough Quarter Sessions within the county, and at the Staffordshire Assizes.
The Gaol was also used as a "staging-post" for people convicted in courts
across northern England, eventually destined for penal servitude in gaols in
southern England, including Dartmoor (Devon), Portland (Dorset) and Parkhurst
(Isle of Wight). Local prisoners usually have numbers without letter prefixes.
February 1877 - April 1881
March 1883 - December 1887
August 1893 - November 1896
November 1896 - January 1898
January 1898 - March 1899
March 1899 - November 1899
September 1902 - December 1903
August 1907 - May 1911
January 1911 - May 1916
D5112/64 1907 - 1909 (juvenile adults)
It is important to note that even where there is a surviving album, there are
not necessarily photographs for all of the prisoners known to have been in the
Gaol during that period.
At what point in a prisoner’s stay in Stafford Gaol the photographs were taken
is not always possible to establish, although some of the photographs are known
to have been taken immediately prior to discharge.
|The contents of this database are copyright of Staffordshire
and Stoke on Trent Archive Service and may not be reproduced by any means
whatsoever without permission.
Image of Stafford Gaol courtesy of Staffordshire Arts and Museums Service