WORKSHOP (Georgian to Late 20th Century)


Grid reference Centred SK 70390 54284 (18m by 18m)
Map sheet SK75SW
District Newark
Civil Parish Southwell, Newark


Type and Period (1)

Full Description

Former workshop at former House of Correction. Possibly part of the additions of 1817. (1)
See M3351 for C19 House of Correction.
4.3.1 The Grade II listed north wing of the penitentiary is north-east to south-west aligned
though for ease of reference this report refers to the orientation of the long axis as west to
4.3.2 Of five bays, the building is brick built, of three storeys with a gable roof of slate in
diminishing courses. The south elevation has five windows per floor, the ground and first floor
ones being square with stone cills and lintels retaining their holes for former diamond shaped
iron mullion bars. The cills are large and rectangular with the central part in front of the
window being champhered. Semi-circular windows are used on the second floor, also of
stone, and retain their iron glazing bars. Bay 5 has an original ground floor doorway with
sandstone jambs and lintel, complete with holes for the iron glazing bars, which is identical in
design to that in the east gable. The bricks used measure 9¼ - 9½ inches x 4½ inches x 2¼ -
2½ inches and are unevenly fired, a number being vitrified. Of note the bricks are laid with 1
header to 2 stretchers though the second floor is not coursed as regularly as the floors below
indicating that this building was heightened during the 1829 alterations mentioned above.
4.3.3 Essentially the north elevation is the same as that of the south though the bricks,
despite also measuring 9¼ - 9½ inches 4½ x inches x 2¼ - 2½ inches, are of superior quality.
The first floor window of Bay 2 has been converted into a loading door, presumably when the
site became a lace factory in 1885. Missing bricks beneath the door suggest that a platform
extended from the opening. An inserted central chimney is present behind the parapet built of
bricks 9½ inches long and 3 inches thick.
4.3.4 The west gable has two ground floor windows with a central blocked doorway with two
first floor windows, the northern one retaining a sash window of 12 lights, and a narrow
central window on the second floor. All the openings, including the blocked doorway, have
plain stone lintels, jambs and cills unlike those of the elevations. The bricks are handmade
and measure 9¼ - 9½ inches x 4½ inches x 2¼ - 2½ inches with those along the north edge
being vitrified. The ground floor bricks are laid in stretcher bond and those above in Flemish
bond suggesting a partial rebuilding of the gable. As there is no difference between the
courses of the second floor and those below it must be concluded that the gable was been
rebuilt during, or more likely after, the prison gained a second floor in 1829. There is a sawn
off pipe and much blackening above the blocked doorway with a bracket between the first
floor windows indicating the presence of a former exhaust pipe for an engine originally located
on the ground floor.
4.3.5 The east gable has a large ground floor central modern opening created when the site
became a haulage business. The window to the south is of the same design as those on the
north and south elevations and the doorway to the north is the same as the doorway in the
south elevation. The first floor has two large windows and a central loading door with a brick
segmental arch above. The window lintels, jambs and cills are identical to those on the west
gable. The bricks measure 9¼ - 9½ inches x 4½ inches x 2¼ - 2½ inches and are laid in
Flemish bond. As the first floor openings are clearly original to the build, and the brick work
remains consistent throughout the gable, it must be concluded that it was largely rebuilt when
the building was converted to a lace factory as it is unlikely that a first floor loading bay would
have been required in a prison.
4.3.6 Four ceiling beams create five bays on the ground floor. The ceiling beams are all
machine sawn softwood. Each ceiling beam is supported by brick piers. The piers are not tied
into the walls of the building, they simply abut them indicating that they were erected after the
walls. It is therefore possible that the piers were built to give additional support to the ceiling
beams when heavy lace machinery was placed on the floor above. Alternatively, when the
building was converted into a factory a new floor, complete with brick piers, could have been
inserted. A large proportion of the joists have segments cut from them, possibly for line shafts.
The staircase is not in its original position as it blocks one of the windows and truncates the
brick pier supporting Ceiling Beam 4. There is a former hole in the ceiling of Bay 5 which
could feasibly be the original access into the floor above though its size would suggest that it
was more likely a hatch.
The Rainbow Depot, The Burgage, Southwell, Nottinghamshire.
4.3.7 Machine beds are present on the first floor though there is no evidence for line shafting
or belts in the ceiling above to power them. There is however a central hole in the floor
possibly for a drive shaft. Extra timber planks in Bays 2 and 5 are probably to support winch
mechanisms which formerly extended through the loading doors. All the original cast iron
window frames of 20 lights survive. Differences in plaster on the walls indicate the positions of
the ten barrel vaulted prison cells. The staircase is present though the steps have been
removed. The staircase post dates the prison cells as it clearly extends through the two
south-easternmost ones. Replacement timbers in the ceiling of Bay 3 may indicate the
original access to the floor above or alternatively a former trap door. In the north wall, in line
with Ceiling Beam 2, is an inserted chimney with a hard standing of stone cut into the floor for
a stove to rest on with a circular hole in the chimney to take the flue. The bricks used for the
chimney are mass produced measuring 9½ inches long x 3 inches thick. The ceiling above is
of machine sawn softwood. The ceiling beams fit poorly into their sockets and there are a
number of infilled holes in the walls suggestive of where former joists were positioned
indicating that the ceiling was unsurprisingly altered when the second storey was added in
4.3.8 The third storey was added in 1829 though the softwood roof timbers are likely to be
those used in the building when it was only two storeys in height. The roof comprises five
trusses creating five bays. Four of the trusses are of king post type supporting a plank ridge.
Struts extend from the shoulder of the king post to the principal rafters. The purlins are
staggered. On the east wall is a further truss comprising four corbels that support a tie beam
that carries posts that clasp the purlins with the principal rafters. An empty mortice located in
the centre of the tie beam of Truss 5, on the face of the beam, with a corresponding gap in
the brickwork behind, and a similar mortice opposite in Truss 4, suggests the presence of a
former timber extending between the two tie beams. In the west wall the purlins enter the
brickwork with no additional timber supports though there are two horizontal timbers, joined
with a face-halved scarf, extending above the window in the west wall. A number of the
common rafters are replacements. The ceiling is of laths and plaster. In Bay 3 there is a
circular timber structure in the roof, possibly the base for a ventilator. In the southern part of
Bay 3 is a bar attached to the struts of Trusses 2 and 3 for a winch that would have been
used to raise and lower materials to the floor below through the no longer open trap door
beneath. All the windows retain their original cast iron window frames of 30 lights. Of note the
north and south walls are poorly tied into the west and east walls again suggesting different
construction dates for the elevations and gables.
4.3.9 The north wing has undergone substantial alterations from its construction in 1818 when
the ground floor was a work room and the first floor contained the inmates cells. It has had an
additional storey added in 1829, possibly to be used as a chapel, and both gable walls
substantially rebuilt, probably when it was converted into a lace factory in the late 19th
century. Minor alterations such as converting a first floor window into a loading doorway are
also likely to date to this period. Internally the floors may have been replaced, or significantly
altered to take the weight of lace machines. The stairway positions have been also been
moved, again probably when the building became a lace factory. As a lace factory it is likely
to have had an engine located on the ground floor that powered machines on the first floor.
The top floor is likely to have been used for storage of raw materials. (2)

Listed buildings slides, (Photograph). SNT2648.

<1> DOE, Listed Building Description (Published document). SNT228.

<2> Trent & Peak Archaeology, 2016, The Rainbow Depot, The Burgage, Southwell, Nottinghamshire: Historic Building Record (Unpublished document). SNT5202.

Sources/Archives (3)

  • --- Photograph: Listed buildings slides. .
  • <1> Published document: DOE. Listed Building Description.
  • <2> Unpublished document: Trent & Peak Archaeology. 2016. The Rainbow Depot, The Burgage, Southwell, Nottinghamshire: Historic Building Record.

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Record last edited

Jan 19 2023 7:34PM

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