Vivien Myles Fowler Community Library
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Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Hampton Gaol consists of a Georgian and Italianate two and a half storey split-faced granite and brick building erected circa 1871. The brick wing was added later. It is situated near the center of the Town of Hampton.
Hampton Gaol is designated a Provincial Historic Site for its present location and its architecture.
In 1871, Hampton succeeded the nearby town of Kingston as the Shiretown of Kings County. That same year, Kingston’s early 19th century stone gaol was dismantled and moved piece by piece and reassembled in its present location near the public square in the centre of Hampton and adjacent to the Kings County Court House. Its use as gaol is reflected in the collection of displayed artifacts from this period.
The functional gaol building is a fusion of the Georgian and Italianate styles, and is an imposing structure that has remained relatively unaltered over time. The side brick jailer’s quarters wing was a later addition. Built from massive granite blocks with iron security bars and doors, this multi-celled structure speaks to the heavy-handedness of 19th century justice.
Source: Department of Wellness, Culture and Sport - Heritage Branch site file #8
The character-defining elements that describe the site of Hampton Gaol include:
- location near the public square adjacent to the County Court House in Hampton.
The character-defining elements that describe the original functional Georgian style architecture include:
- simple rectangular massing with unadorned and ordered stonework in the cell wing;
- brickwork in the jailer’s wing;
- simple squared window openings;
- slight asymmetry within the principal façade revealing the functional uses within.
The character-defining elements that describe the additions with the Italianate style to the exterior include:
- bell-cast mansard roof with its bracketed eave and cornice;
- pair of similarly styled attic roof dormers above the jailer’s wing.
The character-defining elements that describe the structure as a whole include:
- uncoursed rubble stone foundation;
- massive granite posts and lintel surrounding the main cell wing entry door;
- fenestration throughout with single-hung wood-frame windows faced with iron security bars;
- cell wing exterior walls built of split-faced coursed granite ashlars in a running bond;
- jailer’s wing exterior walls built of brick, as well as the interior cell walls at the second storey and the street side of the ground floor;
- three rear cells at the ground floor level whose floor, walls and ceiling are built of massive split-faced granite slabs.
The character-defining elements that describe the interior of Hampton Gaol include:
- interior first floor layout with the gaol area comprised of 3 similar-sized stone walled cells on the rear side and two brick-walled cells on the front side of the central corridor;
- original cell area hinged iron doors and hardware;
- three horizontal loopholes on the ground floor exterior wall;
- elliptical and semi-circular pass-through holes;
- semi-circular wooden spiral staircase;
- ornate painted wood railing and stair connecting the two floors of the jailer’s quarters;
- stamped tin ceilings.
The character-defining elements that relate to the displayed collection of artifacts that were used in Hampton Gaol include:
- handcuffs & shackles.
Province of New Brunswick
Historic Sites Protection Act, s. 2(2)
Historic Sites Protection Act – Protected
Theme - Category and Type
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
- Governing Canada
- Security and Law
Function - Category and Type
- Correctional Facility
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Department of Wellness, Culture and Sport. Heritage Branch.
File number 8.
Cross-Reference to Collection