Merioneth County Gaol, Dolgellau, Records

Scope and Content

Records relating to the Merioneth County Gaol, Dolgellau, 1824-1878, including records relating to prisoners' diets, 1858-1877; surgeon's journals, 1860-1875; gaoler's records, 1860-1878; calendar of prisoners, 1828-1832, and register of employment, 1870-1875; and discharge book, 1867-1878.

Administrative / Biographical History

In 1811 it was decided in Quarter Sessions for Merionethshire that a new county gaol was needed in Dolgellau, the county town. The old gaol in Smithfield Square was sold. A new gaol and house of correction was built at Bodlondeb, to the south west of the town, opening in 1813. The Gaol was under the jurisdiction of the Justices of the Peace, High Sheriff and the Gaoler. It also had a surgeon and chaplain attached to it. The inmates were mostly men. The gaol closed on 30 April 1878 and the remaining prisoners were transferred to Ruthun Gaol.


Arranged into the following: proposed alterations; dietary journals; daily provisions consumption account; provisions receipt and consumption book; account book; surgeon's journals; calendar of prisoners; register of prisoners' employment; receipt book of Gaol Keeper; account book of Gaoler; draft county petition; discharge book; and dietary sheet.

Access Information

No restrictions

Acquisition Information

No information found


Compiled by Rhys Jones for the ANW project. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: Meirionnydd Archives, Carchar Sir Feirionnydd Dolgellau/Merioneth County Gaol Dolgellau, catalogue; Meirionnydd Archives, Clifton Hotel, Dolgellau, catalogue; Owen, Hugh J., 'The Common Gaols of Merioneth during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries', Cylchgrawn Cymdeithas Hanes a Chofnodion Sir Feirionnydd, III (1), pp. 1-30.

Other Finding Aids

Hard copies of the catalogue are available at Meirionnydd Archives and the National Library of Wales.

Conditions Governing Use

Usual copyright regulations apply

Appraisal Information

All records have been retained

Custodial History

The records formed part of the archive of the Court of Quarter Sessions.


Accruals are not expected

Related Material

Further records relating to the County Gaol are in Meirionnydd Archives, ZQS.

Geographical Names