1820 - 1830
The site of the main prison buildings that formed part of the Mullingar Jail complex. Built c.1825. Arranged on a fan-shaped plan with prison buildings to the south, exercise yards between and the former prison governor’s house (15310078) to the north at the centre of the fan. Located to the southwest of the County Buildings (15310076).
The site of the main part of the Mullingar Jail complex, which was built between c.1819 and c.1828 to designs by the eminent architect John Hargraves (1788-1833). Recent archaeological investigations carried out in advance of development uncovered the original plan and layout, providing an interesting insight into the new thinking into the design of prisons in the early nineteenth-century. The layout of this prison had the governor’s house (15310078) to the north as the centerpiece or focal point with the main prison buildings to the south with radiating exercise yards between. This was designed to by ‘altruistic’ towards the welfare of the prisoners but was also a definite statement of authority, control and power. This prison replaced an earlier prison in Mullingar, which was located on Pearse Street, possibly on the site of the Greville Arms Hotel. The construction of the new jail was ordered by the Westmeath Grand Jury in 1819 and £11,626 was given for the building project in 1823. In 1827 the complex comprised an entrance house, burying yard, infirmary with male and female apartments, marshalsea, ‘old’ wash house, privy, old jail, female prison, debtors’ yard, female yard, bleach green, turnkey’s yard, governor’s house, cook house and treadmill yard. The main prison had 98 cells for prisoners, 10 rooms for debtors and 19 day and work rooms in 1847. The prison was closed in 1900 and used as technical school for a few years afterwards. It was demolished c.1910 when the new County Buildings (15310076) were built to the north. This jail was built on the site of Petits Castle, originally a Norman motte and later the site of a stone castle (WM019-051001-), and of a mill (WM019-051002-).