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When the castle served as a prison, several methods of instruments were employed to ensure discipline and compliance of the inmates. A pair of leg irons restricted movement of prisoners. The lock and key shown here were probably manufactured locally. The castle as a place of imprisonment dates back to its foundation in 1188. Giraldus Cambrensis wrote of a prisoner who held three boys to ransom in his cell. Later a survey of 1577 reported two prisons at the castle, one under the Brehinock tower and the other at the main entrance, although by then it was utterly decayed. In 1774 John Howard the prison reformer visited Haverfordwest. He condemned the County Gaol in the Cook house. Between 1779 and 1780 a new gaol was built in the castle against the south wall of the inner ward costing 1200. French soldiers were kept there following the last invasion of Britain at Fishguard in 1797. Following recommendation by the Quarter Sessions a new prison was built in 1820.

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