A prison or reform school for petty offenders.‘They were hauled off to the barracks, spent the night in the bridewell, and the next day were convicted.’
prison, penal institution, place of detention, lock-up, place of confinement, guardhouse, correctional facility, detention centre
- ‘In the 17th century, bridewells and reformatory institutions started to appear.’
- ‘With the advent of bridewells, convicts begin to inhabit separate punitive institutions for the first time.’
- ‘The new Board assumed responsibility for 38 local county prisons, 96 bridewells and four convict prisons.’
- ‘In many gaols, and in most bridewells, there is no allowance of bedding or straw for prisoners to sleep on.’
Mid 16th century named after St Bride's Well in the City of London, near which such a building stood.
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