THE Mayor of Bradford on Avon was sent to Jail on Thursday – but it was all in a good cause!

Cllr Alex Kay was helping to publicise the town’s Heritage Open Days and the opening of the 17th century Town Bridge lock-up.

The Grade I lock up only opens every September during the Heritage Open Days organised by the National Trust and supported by the Postcode Lottery.

But it remains a significant tourist attraction -with 128 visitors stepping inside in just two hours between 2pm and 4pm yesterday.

Cllr Kay said: “It was very interesting. It’s very dark inside and has primitive en-suite plumbing and an everlasting mattress.

“The heritage open days will give people a real feeling of how frightening it might have been to have been locked up inside.

“But it has been beautifully maintained since it was restored by a team of volunteers in 2015.”

The stone building with a domed roof is also referred to as a chapel – it is believed to have been converted into a lock-up in the 1700s when the bridge was widened.

It was also called a blind house because, at that time, it had no windows. Prisoners were held in it until they could be brought before a magistrate for conviction and sentencing. Drunks were held overnight in the lock up until they were sober.

On its roof is a 16th century gilded weather vane in the shape of a fish, known as the Bradford Gudgeon. Prisoners were said to be ‘under the fish and over the water’.

The lock up will open from 10am to 4pm on Friday, and from 10am to 6pm on Saturday. On Sunday, it opens from 11am to 3pm.