Culture Magazine

Prison Walls

By Carolineld @carolineld
Even relatively familiar areas of London retain the power to surprise, and I had one of those moments recently on a walking tour with old maps. Just off Borough High Street survives a remnant of Marshalsea: the south wall of the prison yard.
Prison wallsMarshalsea was best known as a debtors' prison, although it also housed navy men awaiting court martial. Its most famous prisoner was Charles Dickens' father, who was held as a debtor. Young Charles famously went to work in a blacking factory to support himself as a result.
Debtors' prisons were strange places, very different to a modern prison. The prisoners, although already in debt, were expected to pay for their accommodation and various privileges such as access to cooking facilities. Many of the inmates' families had no means of support while the debtor was inside, so joined them within prison walls, meaning that Marshalsea was (a rather grim) home to men, women and children. Dickens himself would join his family, all of whom were living inside the prison, for breakfast and dinner. A debtor would remain imprisoned until the creditor was satisfied - or, of course, until they paid off the debt. However, with no means of earning money and the debt increasing while they were unable to repay it, few people could simply settle their debts.
The prison moved to this site in 1811, having previously been located a little further north. It closed in 1842, and most of its buildings were later demolished. This wall alone remains, but no longer closes off prisoners from the outside world. Instead, you can walk where prisoners once did along what is now Angel Place; step through the gate and you enter the pleasant and peaceful St George's Gardens.

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Pull Apart Cinnamon Roll Bread

    Pull Apart Cinnamon Roll Bread

    Who doesn't love cinnamon rolls? Not many people I would assert. I saw this recipe for a Pull Apart Cinnamon Roll Bread on Pinch of Yum a while back and had... Read more

    6 hours, 48 minutes ago by   Mariealicerayner
  • $500 Weekend Blowout

    Well a month ago our $1,000 post was very successful, a number of sales took place and it brought about members engaging with one another to get some deals... Read more

    8 hours, 27 minutes ago by   Worldwide
  • Proliferation of Hate and Intolerance

    Proliferation Hate Intolerance

    Paul Brass provides a wealth of ethnographic and historical evidence on the causes of Hindu-Muslim violence in India in The Production of Hindu-Muslim Violence... Read more

    9 hours, 51 minutes ago by   Dlittle30
  • Unpacked Book Trailer

    Unpacked Book Trailer

    Introducing…The Unpacked Book Trailer!!Back in December, my friend and filmmaker Andrew MacCormack and I got to together for a chat at my cottage in Stanley... Read more

    9 hours, 58 minutes ago by   Moduffycobb
  • Currently....


    Happy Friday folks bitches! Time and Place: 4:24 p.m. At my computer in my home office looking at my dog and counting down 36 minutes until happy hour. Read more

    The 26 May 2017 by   Brisdon
  • ETSY MIX of the Week

    ETSY Week

    1 | Hoop earrings are making a comeback. These solid ones with the v shaped cutout are very pretty (umya, $56.89) 2 | A gorgeous birch wood plate to serve and... Read more

    The 26 May 2017 by   Myparadissi
  • Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race 2017 – Day Five – The Finish Line

    Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race 2017 Five Finish Line

    MARCUS SCOTNEY AND CAROL MORGAN WIN THE BERGHAUS DRAGON'S BACK RACE 2017 Marcus Scotney put aside injury concerns to lead from the front on the final day and wi... Read more

    The 26 May 2017 by   Abichal