BRIEF HISTORY DURING THE SNOW ERA (1813-58)

The history of the Newgate Prison probably dates back to the 12th century or perhaps earlier.  After the old jail burned, a new prison was built in 1672.  This prison was rebuilt in 1770-8, destroyed by riots, and rebuilt once more in 1780-3.  It sits north of the Central Criminal Court on Old Bailey and near Saint Paul's Cathedral (see figure - domed building in back of the prison to the left). 

After the latest rebuild, the prison became the place of execution in London.  Persons were hanged outside Newgate Prison before enormous crowds, dangling from a scaffold erected in front of the Prison on Old Bailey Street near the corner of Newgate Street.  These public hangings finally came to an end in 1868.  

The prison was mentioned in the writings of Charles Dickens (1812-1870), notably in Barnaby Rudge, in Oliver Twist (Fagan waits for the end, sitting on the stone bed in the Condemned Hold), and in Great Expectations (Pip is shown inside the grim stone building to view the yard where the gallows are kept and the Debtors Door through which came those to be hanged).  

The Newgate Prison is shown in 1859 as a black rectangle in the upper right section of K 19, just to the east of Old Bailey Street.  The prison is presented more clearly in the 1873 map, although labeled as Newgate Gaol (British version of jail).  Newgate Prison was eventually demolished in 1902.

LOCATION IN 1859 REYNOLDS MAP

(Quarter Mile Section - K 19)

Source: Weinreb B, Hibbert C (eds). The London Encyclopaedia, 1993.

Engraving of Newgate Prison in 1829

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Undated Picture

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Image of Chapel in Newgate Prison

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Image of Exercise Yard in Newgate Prison

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Image of Pretrial Cell in Newgate Prison

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Image of Condemned Cell in Newgate Prison

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Hanging Day outside Newgate Prison in the 1850s

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Cruchley's Map of 1846

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Site in Stanford's Map of 1862

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Old Ordnance Survey Map of 1873

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