The Fort - a unique landmark home in Bury St Edmunds
- Credit: Archant
They say every Englishman’s home is his castle. The Fort is one such building in Bury St Edmunds – a landmark building, with an important role in the town’s history and still set within its own grounds.
Bury St Edmunds prison was designed in 1805, based on a panopticon design with an octagonal governor’s house (The Fort), at its centre, with radiating cell blocks and exercise yards.
The original panopticon design was a circular structure with an “inspection house” at its centre, from which the manager or staff of the institution are able to watch the inmates, who are stationed around the perimeter.
The first governor in 1844 was John Orridge who became a respected authority on prison management.
He introduced a treadwheel to grind corn, and introduced the classification of prisoners. He was even invited by the government to write a book about prison management for the Emperor of Russia.
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Other than the Fort and the original gatehouse, which now fronts Sicklesmere Road, the prison has been demolished.
The original four-storey governor’s house (The Fort), has since offered self-contained flats and it still offers great potential for dual occupation. It is Grade II listed, and has been improved over the years with high quality, sympathetic replacement windows throughout as well as extensive refurbishment of the first floor.
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The basement, ground and second floor still require some refurbishment as part of a single home.
This is a real landmark building and the roof still offers exceptional views across the town and countryside.
There are gardens too, offering a considerable degree of privacy, with mature hedges and trees, a sweeping carriage driveway and automated security gates.
This expectional property retains many original features and has iregular shaped rooms throughout. Improvements already carried out over recent years include plumbing and wiring throughout.