BRIEF HISTORY DURING THE SNOW ERA (1813-58)
Built in 1618 in Westminster on a toot hill, the British term for the highest ground in an area, was the Bridewell Prison. The same title was used for several prisons, so named after a former royal palace, given to London by King Edward VI in 1553 to serve as a jail. The prison was rebuilt in nearby Francis Street in 1834, with places for 800 prisoners. Many people referred to the prison as Tothill Fields because it was located in the Tothill Fields area of Westminster. In 1850, the prison was restricted to women and boys under 17.
In an 1843 map, the prison was cited as the New Bridewell Prison. This name is also presented in Cruchley's map of 1846. In the 1859 map, the prison is identified as "BRIDE L," an abbreviation of Bridewell. By 1861, the prison had been renamed the Westminster House of Correction. Thereafter the name again changed and by 1869 was the Middlesex House of Correction, one of several prisons so named.
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