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More from Katherine Roscoe

Pentonville: the failed prison experiment

When Pentonville “Model” Prison opened its doors in 1842 it was a great carceral experiment. One which turned its human guinea pigs insane spending 24 hours a day in total solitary confinement.

Women of Newgate Prison

Described as a “den of beasts”, Newgate’s women were often victims of circumstance who went on to make new lives after being transported to the colonies.

More in United Kingdom

The Trellick Tower and Graffiti Hall of Fame, Kensal Green, London

Trellick Tower is a Grade II* listed tower block on Cheltenham Estate in Kensal Green which was designed in a Brutalist style by architect Ernö Goldfinger and opened in 1972. The base of the tower is renowned as a centre for urban arts and is another example of one of London’s legal ‘Graffiti Halls of Fame’, where graffiti artists can paint without the risk of arrest and, consequently, have a safe space to hone their skills. In the Autumn of 2020, it was revealed that the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea council were taking steps to implement a new development onto the grounds of the Trellick Tower which would leave the graffiti hall of fame at risk of destruction. In response to the plans, Anna Gudbrands created a documentary film, ‘Trellick: The Writing is on The Wall’ highlighting the importance of both the tower and the Graffiti Hall of Fame. 

The Tower of London

Although never officially a prison, the Tower of London has held hundreds of London’s most dangerous prisoners. Like the story of the Tower itself, its role as prison is a varied one.