The Old Gaol’s biggest secret is that it is not as old as you might think it is! This iconic gaol (said jail) was only built in 1748, and it’s never been a real castle.
The Gaol was built by Lord Cobham, to try and wrestle the title ‘County Town’ of Buckinghamshire back from Aylesbury. Cobham used his job as MP to demand that trials of criminals move back to be held at Buckingham Town Hall, and the gaol was built for the prisoners to be sent to.
The only problem was that the jail wasn’t very secure… and several criminals escaped! ‘Scraggs’ Wesley climbed over the battlements with a rope and ‘Coiner’ Varney just walked out the door!
With Thanks to the Centre for Buckinghamshire studies for this amazing picture of the Old Gaol in the late Victorian times, as well as the Old Gaol Museum for this image of a prisoner in the cells!