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More from Katherine Roscoe

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.

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.

More in United Kingdom

Frost Fairs on the River Thames

For more than 800 years, in frosty weather the frozen Thames played host to spectacular festivals.

Graffiti of Wellclose Prison Debtors’ Cell at the Museum of London

Wellclose Prison, also known as Neptune Street Prison, was located off Wellclose Square near to the Tower of London. The 18th-century small prison was run on a commercial basis and the majority of inmates were insolvent debtors who were either imprisoned until they could repay their debts or were awaiting transfer to Newgate Prison. The prison was below a public tavern which was connected to a courthouse, where the tavern’s landlord acted as gaoler. By the 1790s, the prison was empty and in a state of disrepair. The prison was finally closed in the 19th century and the building it was housed within was turned into a lodging house. When the building was demolished in 1911, two cells from the prison were dismantled and transferred to the London Museum at Kensington Palace and elements of both cells can now be found on display in the Museum of London. Prisoners in the cells were known to scratch and carve their names and initials or write messages or draw pictures onto the walls of the cells and many of these marks can still be seen today.