200 Years Ago in Norwich : New Prison on Castle Hill

There are currently quite extensive works going on at Norwich Castle to try and restore the keep to what it might have looked like in medieval times. However, 200 years ago this week, it was decided to approve work on the new prison that would be going into the keep. It was reported in the Norfolk Chronicle:

“At the general Quarter Sessions for this county, held yesterday se’nnight, it was agreed that the whole of Mr Wilkins’s plan for erecting the new gaol on the Castle Hill should be carried into execution and we understand that the entire expence of the gaol and Courts of Justice should not exceed 46,000l”.

I still like the word ‘se’nnight’, meaning week (or seven days and nights), it’s a shame that it’s fallen out of usage.

And, indeed, it fell out of usage in the early nineteenth century.

On that matter, the usage of the word ‘expence’ was soon overtaken by ‘expense’.

As for the new prison, the previous one had only stood for thirty years, but there’s more about this at the Norwich Castle web-site. The new prison was built by William Wilkins and it was designed with the new radial structure, something rather forward thinking for its time. Anyway, I digress once again, I was just intrigued to think that there was an exciting building project 200 years ago to the week that this new one is taking place.