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  • Writer's pictureChris Winter

Guardhouse Lane (10)

Updated: May 20

Guardhouse Lane is named after an eighteenth-century guardhouse used to house Napoleonic prisoners-of-war.



Guardhouse Lane, Wells. Photo by Phil Broek
Guardhouse Lane. Photo by Phil Broek


Guardhouse Lane takes its name from its eighteenth-century guardhouse. The Napoleonic Wars of the late 1790s and early 1800s saw a new warfare of mass armies and large fleets. This made necessary the first serious attempt to house prisoners-of-war in specially built prisons or prison camps, as on Dartmoor or at Norman Cross near Peterborough. Captured French soldiers and sailors were landed at southern ports and marched about 20 miles a day, lodging en route at specially constructed staging-posts. Wells Guardhouse was the last overnight stop for other ranks before reaching the newly enlarged Stapleton Prison, Bristol.



The old guard house has now been converted into apartments. Photo by Phil Broek.
The old guard house has now been converted into apartments. Photo by Phil Broek.



Guardhouse Lane is at location 10 on the Trail Map
Guardhouse Lane is at location 10 on the Trail Map


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