Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Swansea Prison

Swansea prison was known as Cox's Farm, the original prison was built in the castle in around 1112 by Henry de Beaumont. Earliest written records suggest that William de Braose, Lord of Gower, was in possession of the castle.
The first governor (although that title was not in use then) was Thomas Somer. He was a sheriff's officer and a constable; his pay in 1402 being 2d (less than 1p) a day.
The use of the castle as a prison was abolished in 1858. By this time the new Bridewell prison, construction of which began in 1826, had been running for quite a few years.
Opened in May 1829, it was known as the Bridewell, or House of Correction and stood on land located to the south of the main wing of the prison today. Its first governor was William Cox. A map of Swansea Corporation in 1838 details that Cox leased a small part of land adjacent to the prison, where he grew vegetables which he supplied to the prisoners. It was from this land came the name Cox's Farm, and to this day Swansea prison is known to locals as Cox's Farm.

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