Illingworth Gaol

Illingworth Gaol stands on Keighley Road above the Talbot Inn. The stocks stand next to the building.

It was built in 1823. It had four cells, with heavily barred windows. Originally, the building had just a single storey.

When a wrongdoer was caught at night, the Ovenden Constable brought a small bedstead from his home, and the prisoner spent the night in the gaol until he was taken to appear before the Halifax magistrates on the following morning.

Above the door, there is carved a quotation from St Paul's Letter to the Ephesians IV 28:

Let him that steal, steal no more, but
rather let him labour, working with his
hands the thing which is good, that he
may have to give to him that needeth

Erected AD 1823

The jail was discontinued in 1860. The building was then leased to the Illingworth Industrial Provident Society who used it as a store room. It opened as a Co-operative store on 23rd November 1863. It was listed as 121 Keighley Road [1936].

In the 1960s, the Co-operative Society, offered the building to Halifax Council, but it was refused, and a private trust was set up to ensure that the building survived and was kept in good repair.

Plans to convert it into a police museum, or even a museum for children, came to nothing.

In 1978, Calderdale Council adopted the building. It was leased for use as a private garage.

One of the uprights bears the initials A H and G R, and the motto

Know Thyself

In June 2009, it was advertised for sale by auction

© Malcolm Bull 2021
Revised 15:13 / 15th May 2021 / 3867

Page Ref: MMI71

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