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Public Gaol

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1702–1703. 1711–1712 and 1722, additions. 1935–1936, restoration and reconstruction. Nicholson St. west of Waller St.
  • (Photograph by Mark Mones)
  • (HABS)
  • (Photograph by Mark Mones)
  • (Photograph by Mark Mones)
  • (Photograph by Mark Mones)
  • (Photograph by Mark Mones)
  • (Photograph by Mark Mones)

The group of buildings near the east end of eighteenth-century Williamsburg included the jail, where accused criminals awaited trial at the General Court and punishment, debtors were incarcerated, and runaway slaves and the insane were restrained. The initial construction, now the northeast section, included two firstfloor cells to hold men and women, a chamber for petty offenders upstairs, modest housing for the jailer, and a walled exercise yard. Debtors' cells were added in 1711–1712 and improved keeper's quarters in 1722.

Writing Credits

Richard Guy Wilson et al.


What's Nearby


Richard Guy Wilson et al., "Public Gaol", [Williamsburg, Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

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