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From Bridewell (named after a well dedicated to St Bride), an area of London that once had a "house of correction".


bridewell (plural bridewells) (Sometimes capitalised)

  1. (dated in Britain, Ireland, rare elsewhere) A small prison, or a police station that has cells.
    • 1983, “The Wicklow Boy”, in The Time Has Come[1], performed by Christy Moore:
      Others in the Bridewell heard him screaming. Even prison doctors could see. His injuries were not self-inflicted. Those who tipped the scales did not agree.
    • 2002, Joseph O'Conner, Star of the Sea, Vintage 2003, p. xix:
      Two Fermanagh girls who never laughed were certain that he must have served time in a bridewell, so cold was his expression and so calloused his small hands.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Several English cities have streets named "Bridewell" where a police station is located.