can you visit newgate prison

Can You Visit Newgate Prison

Newgate Prison holds a unique place in the history of London. If you’re intrigued by the history of crime and punishment, you might wonder, can you visit Newgate Prison? Let’s find out.

A Brief History of Newgate Prison

Early History

Newgate Prison’s tale begins in the 12th century, a part of London’s Roman wall and named after the nearby Newgate. It became renowned for its inhumane conditions and high death rates.

Major Events

Newgate witnessed several significant events, from the infamous Gordon Riots in 1780 to public executions, making it a central part of London’s grim past.

Closure of the Prison

The prison was finally shut down in 1902 after almost 800 years of operation.

Newgate Prison Today

The Old Bailey Courthouse

Today, the former site of Newgate Prison is home to the Central Criminal Court, commonly known as the Old Bailey, after the street on which it is located.

Notable Artifacts

Although the prison itself is no more, remnants of its history remain, including part of the original prison wall in the churchyard of St. Sepulchre’s.

Visiting Newgate Prison Today

How To Get There

Although you can’t physically visit Newgate Prison, you can visit the Old Bailey and the remnants of the prison wall. The nearest Tube station is St. Paul’s on the Central Line.

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What You Can Expect To See

You can take a tour of the Old Bailey, soak in the history, and witness a piece of the original prison wall.

Important Tips for Visitors

Remember to check the Old Bailey’s website for visitation rules and timings before planning your visit.

Famous Inmates of Newgate Prison

Newgate housed several notorious inmates, from highwayman Jack Sheppard to the infamous pirate William Kidd.

Lessons from Newgate Prison

The story of Newgate Prison serves as a somber reminder of the harsh realities of crime and punishment throughout history.

Alternatives for Prison History Enthusiasts

If you’re fascinated by prison history, consider visiting the Clink Prison Museum or the Tower of London.

Conclusion

While you can’t visit Newgate Prison per se, you can still glimpse its history by visiting the Old Bailey and the remnants of the prison wall. It’s a haunting but fascinating journey into London’s past.

FAQs

  1. Was Newgate Prison the only prison in medieval London? No, Newgate wasn’t the only prison. Others included the Tower of London and the Clink.
  2. Can I take a guided tour of the Old Bailey? Yes, there are guided tours available. Visit the Old Bailey’s website for more details.
  3. Is Newgate Prison mentioned in literature? Yes, Newgate is famously mentioned in works by Charles Dickens and Daniel Defoe.
  4. Why was Newgate Prison closed? Newgate was closed due to its notorious reputation and changing attitudes towards crime and punishment.
  5. Is there a museum for Newgate Prison? There isn’t a dedicated museum, but its history is included in several tours and exhibitions around London.
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