The Lamb Collection - Crime and Punishment  in the 19th century. Click here to return to Crime main page

Proceedings Regarding Enlargement of Gaol and Building of New Gaol in Dundee
Memorial for the Magistrates and Town Council

1st October, 1833

The Gaol of Dundee in 1833 was situated in the Town House and was inadequate for detaining the increasing number of prisoners in a town with an increasing population. This memorial for theTown Council was intended to secure support for the construction of a new jail on land north of the Hospital Ward, between the Coupar-Angus Turnpike Road and the Dundee and Newtyle Railway.To raise the £40, 000 in funds needed for its construction, a proposal to tax the inhabitants of Dundee over a period of ten years was suggested.

In this statement of facts, the state of overcrowding in the Town House jail is described; In four rooms, an attic and a make-shift lock-up on the ground floor, the prison held 61 male and 18 female prisoners. The health dangers and the inadequacy of it for security are emphasised - there had been a number of successful escapes made by prisoners from the Town House. The new jail in Bell Street was not constructed until 1837.