List grade: 1
List number: 1024937
Grid ref: NZ2503463922

Heron Pit Prison and Drawbridge Pit, by Black Gate, Newcastle


Barbican, prison and pits dating from the mid 13th and 17th century. Grade I listed. The information board by the pit states: "William Heron - The Hammer of the Poor 1246 AD: William Heron has been made Sheriff of Northumberland and Keeper of Newcastle Castle. He remained in this position until his death in 1258 AD. Heron has a duty to execute justice and raise money for King Henry III. Yet, he abuses this position to steal from the people of Northumberland and visiting traders. Word of Heron's corruption spreads. Norwegian merchants refuse to enter Newcastle while he remains Sheriff.
Heron built an 'oubliette' dungeon deep within the foundations of this Castle, which will became known as The Heron Pit. This windowless pit was used to imprison people who committed crimes and threatened his authority. Fear of Heron's Pit lasted for a long time. In 1301 AD, local men Henry Tod and Hugh, son of Robert de Alnemuth, were accused of killing William Hulhope. A crime of this nature was punishable by death. They were held in the gaol above the dreaded pit while they awaited sentencing. The men were terrified that they may be put in the pit and become part of its bloody history. Instead, they were pardoned because William Hulhope was a Scot, the King's enemy and felon."
from https://commons.wikimedia.o...
Looking across the Heron Prison Pit toward the Black Gate, Newcastle Castle
- Photo by Barabbas1312, 10 June 2015, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

Added by
Simon Cotterill
from https://historicengland.org...
HERON PIT PRISON, DRAWBRIDGE PIT AND OTHER UNDER-BUILDINGS IN BARBICAN - Newcastle - List Entry
- "Barbican, prison and pits. Mid C13 and C17. Coursed squared sandstone; ashlar- lined prison pit. Heron pit: deep, square; no openings. Shouldered arch at right in wall to north leading ...

Added by
Simon Cotterill
from Flickr (flickr)
Heron Pit, Black Gate, Newcastle

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Flickr (flickr)
Heron Pit, Black Gate, Newcastle

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Flickr (flickr)
Heron Pit, Black Gate, Newcastle

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Flickr (flickr)
Heron Pit, Black Gate, Newcastle

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Flickr (flickr)
Black Gate - information board by the Heron Pit

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Flickr (flickr)
Black Gate, with fence overlooking Heron Pit

Pinned by Simon Cotterill

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