This is easily one of the most curious artifacts in the Bury area. It does not appear to have any history. It was certainly in existence in my Grandmother's day who used it as a threat if we were naughty. But it just seems to have always been there. It has been called the Tottington "lock up" which is probably more correct. Dungeon's to my way of thinking should be bigger and blacker and considerably more villainous.
The BBC Domesday website says " It was a small triangular shape with a steel door and not a lot of room inside. It would hold about 6 people, and inside there were those arm and leg shackles with a stone bench to sit or sleep on.
It was not a real dungeon, it was used for all the drunks and the ones who cause trouble. The constable was not a real policeman but a voluntary job. The constable is reputed to have left the doors open and let the prisoners escape to save him the job of taking them to court.
In 1964 Salford Folk Museum wanted to take it stone by stone off Tottington's hands, but the locals wanted to preserve it as a link with the past, and to keep it as a monument."
|Closer up. Some of the faces can be seen! Practically every stone is marked in some way. There is a geometric pattern to some of the stones. Difficult to see why the "1885" is quite carefully cut out and the remainder of the stones are quite roughly hewn. There is a face on the right that seems quite representative. But the holes are very rough and unguided in there exact position|
Peel Tower to celebrate Robert Peel's life was only erected in 1852 - so it dates from that era. The position of the dungeon is in quite a curious place. It would seem logical to place it in Tottington town centre. It has been placed at the position of the only place the road divides.
The pub behind or in front of the Dungeon was built considerably later, but I think the Dungeon must have been built at the same time as the cottages it is joined to.
Apparently a museum in Salford wanted to hijack the Dungeon in the 1980's.
However the pictures:
I do not recall any hauntings, strange happenings or any strange rumours surrounding this building. But it is well worth a visit!
|Taken from Harwood Road. The building on the left is the back of the "Old Dungeon" pub|
|View through the door. The stne on the right is the "original" stone. The stone on the left-hand side is smoother for some reason. Could the stones on the right belong to the cottages.|
|From Harwood Road. The way the top is attached is curious. There is another slab on top of the several that make the flat top. |
|Old Dungeon Inn. On the left are the houses that are against the Dungeon|
|The exit of Harwood road. Standing with my back to the Dungeon. The main road curles away to right and heads through Tottington proper and thence to Bury. The white faced building was the Printers Arms - now I think it is an Italian restaurant. This road curls around and heads towards Greenmount past Brookhouse. Very much a secondary road at the time. It was cobbles in my youth. The road heading out of the left of the picture is Turton Road. - eventually heads to Bolton. |
|Another view of the inside. Quite well dressed stone. The walls could be two layers thick. The wall on the right may well be the back wall of the cottage. If that is the case It would seem that the Dungeon was built after the cottages were.|
|Close up of the Door. Seems cast. The dogs head seems to be part of the casting. The knocker doesn't work. Some renovation work has taken place The bolts on the top are not all original. The clasp is most definitely new.|
|Birds eye view from Harwood Road - Pub on left.|
However there is another building within a mile that also warrants investigation because they are quite similar. This is Nabbs House Folly
, there are strong similarities in the way the stones are treated. Speculation.
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