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Reform Magazine | May 21, 2024

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Old Nick - Reform Magazine

photo-300x225I came across this odd little building in Alfreton in Derbyshire on Saturday. It doesn’t look so odd in the photo, partly because it could be in the middle of nowhere (or the 18th century) but in fact it’s on the main road through town, with modern houses all around. Also you can’t read the name in the photo, but it’s called The House of Confinement.

Presumably it doesn’t see a lot of action these days, but is kept by the town as a memento to the confinements it achieved in the past.

photoOr so I thought, until I passed it again on Sunday morning, and saw these people outside.

Clearly the constable was there with the family to release their errant offspring to them after his Saturday night misdemeanours. Nice to see local traditions being kept alive.


  1. Sarah Abbott

    Hi. Just thought I’d let you know the story of this photo. I’d asked the local historian if he could arrange for my dad to be locked up in the house of confinement as a fathers day gift, (That me and my dad in the photo by the way) as my dad’s a big fan of local history. Unfortunately they said they couldn’t lock my dad in there. But they could allow us a look in there. As you can imagine the pace is very small. It has 2 small cells and a tiny room for the gard to sit. I don’t think I would have liked to have been a prisoner or a guard in there as it’s that small. But it was fascinating to be inside there and to hear more about the history of it 🙂

  2. Steve Tomkins

    Well, what a small world! Thank you very much for telling the story.

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