chapter  1
Imprisonment prior to the eighteenth century: the gaols
Pages 21

According to Finberg, gaols were part of the systems of criminal justice in England as early as the ninth century .1 Pugh notes that by the accession of Henry III there were only five counties for which no gaol is known to have existed.2 Some of these gaols were purpose-built (such as the Fleet) but more often they were to be found within the protective walls of castles and towns. 3 Various social and legal changes increased the number of prisons and their importance as a means of maintaining order.4