The Clink Prison Museum

The Clink Prison Museum Attraction, Museum
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The Clink Prison Museum is built upon the original site of the Clink Prison. The Prison dates back to 1144 making it one of England’s oldest, if not the oldest prison. Visitors will experience a hands on educational experience allowing them to handle original artefacts, including torture devices, as well as the opportunity to view and hear the amazing stories of the inmates and the notorious Southbank. Owned by the Bishop of Winchester, The Clink Prison was used to control the Southbank of London known as “The Liberty of The Clink”. This area housed much of London’s entertainment establishments including four theatres, bull-baiting, bear-baiting, inns and many other darker entertainments. The Clink Prison was only a small part of a vast complex on the Bankside that the Bishop owned called Winchester House. At one point in history Henry VIII planned toake control of the palace and use it as his own. Parts of the Great Hall still stand even today including the world famous Rose Arch Window preserved by English Heritage. Visitors to the area included individuals such as William Shakespeare, King Henry VIII, Sir Francis Drake, Geoffrey Chaucer and many more. Why not explore the prison that gave its name to all others? The clink Prison.

Less than 100 years ago, the death penalty was still legal in the UK, and is still practiced today in the USA and other ...
09/02/2020

Less than 100 years ago, the death penalty was still legal in the UK, and is still practiced today in the USA and other countries.

To learn more about crime and punishment in medieval and Tudor England, be sure to visit us at the Clink.

Today's #TortureOfTheDay was known as 'Piene forte et dure', or, 'strong and hard punishment'. It was inflicted upon peo...
06/02/2020

Today's #TortureOfTheDay was known as 'Piene forte et dure', or, 'strong and hard punishment'. It was inflicted upon people who refused to plead either guilty or not guilty to a crime they had been accused of. It developed into a process of placing heavy weights or stones upon the victim until they either submitted a plea or were pressed to death. Pretty nasty. Visit the Clink and have a peek into our own spooky torture chamber.

#TortureOfTheDay In Medieval Times, foot roasting was a popular way to extract a confession or punish a criminal of mino...
05/02/2020

#TortureOfTheDay In Medieval Times, foot roasting was a popular way to extract a confession or punish a criminal of minor crimes.
The victim's feet were imprisoned in the stocks and then red-hot coal was placed right under them. When the subject was interrogated, a screen was put between the heat and his feet, acting as relief. If he refused to confess, his bare feet were exposed to the flames.

If you're planning to visit the Clink in a group of ten or more, book a guided tour for an unrivaled experience of the C...
04/02/2020

If you're planning to visit the Clink in a group of ten or more, book a guided tour for an unrivaled experience of the Clink! Our tour guides can tailor your tour to suit your needs and can bring the Clink and its grim history to life.
For more information, visit our website clink.co.uk or email [email protected].

#TortureOfTheDay “The Boot” was recorded as being particularly cruel. An over-sized metal shoe was placed over the victi...
02/02/2020

#TortureOfTheDay “The Boot” was recorded as being particularly cruel. An over-sized metal shoe was placed over the victim’s foot, with simpler designs having wood wedged in beside the victims’ feet and saturated with water, with more complex designs having soaked leather or rags wrapped around them and the boot placed over a fire or furnace. The aim of both of these designs was to crush the foot to extract information, however this method frequently left victims with crippled feet, unable to walk, not to mention the risk of amputation if infection took hold.
For more Gruesome History why not visit The Clink Prison Museum, located along the #Southbank on Clink Street.

#OnThisDay in 1587 Queen Elizabeth I of England signs death warrant for her cousin, Mary, Queen of Scots. This marks the...
01/02/2020

#OnThisDay in 1587 Queen Elizabeth I of England signs death warrant for her cousin, Mary, Queen of Scots. This marks the beginning of the Elizabethan period and changes the type of religious and political prisoners held at The Clink. To discover more about the type of prisoners over the 600 years of activity, stop by The Clink!

Today's #Tortureoftheday is Water Torture! Despite its many forms, one technique popular in 17th century France was call...
31/01/2020

Today's #Tortureoftheday is Water Torture! Despite its many forms, one technique popular in 17th century France was called being 'put to question.' This method involved force-'feeding' the victim large quantities of water until they were bloated. Alongside this, noses would be held or pegged, the water cold or boiling!

Down at the link we have displays discussing all the different forms of water torture if you're intrigued!

#OnThisDay 30 January 1661, Oliver Cromwell’s body, along with that of John Bradshaw, President of the High Court of Jus...
30/01/2020

#OnThisDay 30 January 1661, Oliver Cromwell’s body, along with that of John Bradshaw, President of the High Court of Justice for the trial of King Charles I and Henry Ireton, Cromwell’s son-in-law and general in the Parliamentary army during the English Civil War, were removed from Westminster Abbey to be posthumously tried for high treason and ‘executed’. This symbolic date was chosen to coincide with the execution of Charles I twelve years previously. The three bodies were hung from the Tyburn gallows in chains before being beheaded at sunset. The bodies were then thrown in a common grave and the heads were displayed on a twenty foot spike at Westminster Hall, where they remained until 1685 when a storm caused the spike to break, tossing the heads to the ground below.

I was posed a Clink Street puzzle today:What follows the burst of gunfire on Clink Street?The answer is two words, four ...
29/01/2020

I was posed a Clink Street puzzle today:

What follows the burst of gunfire on Clink Street?

The answer is two words, four letters each, and one of them is a colour.

It took me a little while to make a guess; then I checked it online just to make sure.

What do you think?

#TortureOfTheDay The breast ripper was something specifically designed for women. This device was designed to cause majo...
29/01/2020

#TortureOfTheDay The breast ripper was something specifically designed for women. This device was designed to cause major blood loss. The ripper's claws, which were usually red hot, would be placed on the exposed breasts as its spikes penetrated beneath the skin. It would then be pulled causing large chunks of flesh to come off.
For more Gruesome History why not visit The Clink Prison Museum, located along the #Southbank on Clink Street.

If visiting the Clink Prison Museum with a group of 10 or more why not take advantage of booking one of our qualified to...
28/01/2020

If visiting the Clink Prison Museum with a group of 10 or more why not take advantage of booking one of our qualified tour guides?

Whether you're looking for a fun visit to torture each other and learn of the truly horrible history or a visit filled with educational fun and learning, our tour team are able to offer it all and tailor to your own specific needs.

If you're interested in taking advantage of these guided tours, or simply to find out more about it, email [email protected]

Looking for something to do today? Why not head to the Clink prison museum! Discover what it was like to be imprisoned 8...
26/01/2020

Looking for something to do today? Why not head to the Clink prison museum! Discover what it was like to be imprisoned 800 years ago, learn about the famous inhabitants of the Clink and even get hands on with our medieval torture equipment! Find us on Clink Street, Southbank.

#OnThisDay in 1533 Henry VIII, King of England, married his second wife Anne Boleyn in a secret ceremony. Henry famously...
25/01/2020

#OnThisDay in 1533 Henry VIII, King of England, married his second wife Anne Boleyn in a secret ceremony. Henry famously moved away from the Catholic church, which in turn impacted the type of political prisoners admitted to The Clink over time.
The Clink was not just a medieval prison, but traversed from the Norman times to the Georgian! Visit us and discover more about the monarchs reigning over the time span of The Clink, and implications for the prison.

Today's #tortureoftheday Is well known throughout history, burning at the stake! While a common punishment for those wom...
24/01/2020

Today's #tortureoftheday Is well known throughout history, burning at the stake!

While a common punishment for those women accused of witchcraft, It was also used for a variety of crimes. Catherine Hayes, both a maid and prostitute, was burned at the stake in 1726 for getting her current lover to murder her husband! However, Hayes experienced the full wrath of burning alive as the cord that should have hung her over the fire broke...

The Clink Prison Museum explores European methods of punishment throughout our rooms. Why not visit us this weekend?

The definition of torture is the deliberate, systematic, cruel and wanton infliction of physical or mental suffering by ...
23/01/2020

The definition of torture is the deliberate, systematic, cruel and wanton infliction of physical or mental suffering by one or more torturers in an attempt to force another person to yield information, to make a confession, as part of a punishment or for any other reason. Torture devices or tools are used to inflict unbearable agony on a victim. The objectives of torture were to intimidate, deter, revenge or punish. Or as a tool or a method for the extraction of information or confessions.

Are you or someone you know learning about crime and punishment this term?? We have lots of information about medieval t...
21/01/2020

Are you or someone you know learning about crime and punishment this term?? We have lots of information about medieval torture, treason and imprisonment at the Clink!
Want to come in a group of 10 or more? Book a tour and our tour guides will bring the sinister side of London's history to life. Whether you're looking for a fun visit to torture each other and learn of the truly horrible history or a visit filled with educational fun and learning, our tour team are able to tailor to your own specific needs. Email [email protected] for details

The Iron Chair was a device used extensively during the Middle Ages. It’s primary strength lied in the psychological fea...
19/01/2020

The Iron Chair was a device used extensively during the Middle Ages. It’s primary strength lied in the psychological fear it caused its victims. It was common practice to coerce a confession by forcing a victim to watch someone else be tortured with the chair.
The chair was lined with hundreds of sharp spikes, which would cover the back, seat, arm rests, leg rests and foot rests. The number of spikes in a chair would range from 500 – 1,500. Some versions of the chair even had spikes on the headrest, and the torturer would push the victim’s head against it.
A victim would be seated on the chair, their wrists restrained, either by straps or two bars that would push the arms against the arm rests. Some versions of the chair contained holes in the seat, and the torturer would light a fire beneath it, and the victim would be slowly roasted alive.

#tortureoftheweek Strappado This form of torture, favored by various inquisitions, consisted of victims hands being tied...
18/01/2020

#tortureoftheweek Strappado
This form of torture, favored by various inquisitions, consisted of victims hands being tied behind their backs, hoisted up with so they were suspended by a single cord. Weights were also often added to cause severe pain and stretching to the muscles.

Down at the Clink Prison Museum there is a huge array of information on the history of torture and even equipment you can experiment with, in a much less grotesque way of course. Why not try it out for yourself?

After the Reformation (in the 16th century), the Augustinian priory of St. Mary Overie became the parish church of South...
17/01/2020

After the Reformation (in the 16th century), the Augustinian priory of St. Mary Overie became the parish church of Southwark. Since 1905 it has been the cathedral church of the see of Southwark. Guy’s Hospital, one of London’s major teaching hospitals, was opened nearby in 1726. The Anglican St. Mary Magdalen Church in Bermondsey dates to the late 16th century.

To delve further into Southwark's diverse and intriguing histories, visit the Clink Prison Museum here on Clink Street! What better way to spend a Friday?

The image below is The Lady Chapel inside St. Mary Overie parish.

#TortureOfTheDay Bein­g burned at the stake was usually the last stop for torture victims, because this form of torture ...
16/01/2020

#TortureOfTheDay Bein­g burned at the stake was usually the last stop for torture victims, because this form of torture was invariably fatal. Conceptually, it’s a very simple process — create a pile of dry wood with a stake at the center to tie the victim to, and then light it. The fire does all the work. It usually took about a half an hour before the victim lost consciousness, but if it was windy and the fire was blowing away from the victim, he or she might have to endure up to two hours of being slowly burned to death.

If you're planning to visit the Clink in a group of ten or more, book a guided tour for an unrivaled experience of the C...
14/01/2020

If you're planning to visit the Clink in a group of ten or more, book a guided tour for an unrivaled experience of the Clink! Our tour guides can tailor your tour to suit your needs and can bring the Clink and its grim history to life.
For more information, visit our website clink.co.uk or email [email protected].

#TortureOfTheDay The guillotine might not have been the most gruesome torture in terms of guts and gory but guillotine e...
12/01/2020

#TortureOfTheDay The guillotine might not have been the most gruesome torture in terms of guts and gory but guillotine executions were commonly public and sometimes mandatory for citizens. Victims of the guillotine were laid down with their head hanging out over a basket. A rope would be cut and a blade would come down swiftly, severing the head from the body.
For more Gruesome History why not visit The Clink Prison Museum, located along the #Southbank on Clink Street.

#OnThisDay in 1964 a report was published with the first definitive link between smoking and cancer, a bombshell in mode...
11/01/2020

#OnThisDay in 1964 a report was published with the first definitive link between smoking and cancer, a bombshell in modern research and health. Although, for centuries smoking has been a common recreational activity, pipe smoking becoming extremely popular in the 17th Century, many being found through mudlarking in the River Thames to this day.

Smoking would have been accessible to the Bishop and his advisers rather than the prisoners at the Clink, but if you take a look at our mudlarking tray you'll find an arrangement of pipes used across the period the Clink was open as a prison!

#Tortureoftheweek is the Pendulum...While an uncommon form of torture, the victim would be tied down with a metal pendul...
10/01/2020

#Tortureoftheweek is the Pendulum...
While an uncommon form of torture, the victim would be tied down with a metal pendulum swinging above them with a sharp blade below. It was then lowered slowly in an attempt to drive the victim insane as a result of fear and anticipation. It is for this exact reason that Edgar Allan Poe featured one in his story The Pit and The Pendulum.

Did you know that aside from Southwark's long-standing history of crime, poverty and deviance, It has also been home to ...
09/01/2020

Did you know that aside from Southwark's long-standing history of crime, poverty and deviance, It has also been home to some of the greatest writers in history. An example being Mary Wollstonecraft who wrote both A Vindication of The Rights of Man which discussed the ending of slavery and A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, followed closely by the suffragette and suffragists movements in the late 19th and early 20th century, despite being 100 years old by this time!

New year! Back to school! Are you or someone you know learning about crime and punishment this term?? We have lots of in...
07/01/2020

New year! Back to school! Are you or someone you know learning about crime and punishment this term?? We have lots of information about medieval torture, treason and imprisonment at the Clink!
Want to come in a group of 10 or more? Book a tour and our tour guides will bring the sinister side of London's history to life. Whether you're looking for a fun visit to torture each other and learn of the truly horrible history or a visit filled with educational fun and learning, our tour team are able to tailor to your own specific needs. Email [email protected] for details

Once a person was convicted of a crime, he or she might be tortured again until they identified his or her accomplices. ...
06/01/2020

Once a person was convicted of a crime, he or she might be tortured again until they identified his or her accomplices. Critics of these criminal “justice” systems pointed out the absurdity of such a practice: If a person would confess to committing a crime themselves under torture, why would a person hesitate to accuse others while being subjected to incredible pain.

The lead up to the Mayflower Voyage in 1620...We often discuss The Mayflower as a single event in history but to underst...
05/01/2020

The lead up to the Mayflower Voyage in 1620...
We often discuss The Mayflower as a single event in history but to understand the journey you must first turn to 1608 with a congregation of disgruntled English Protestants from the village of Scrooby, Nottinghamshire.

Before setting sail for America, these Protestants known as "Separatists" left England and moved to Leyden, a town in Holland. These "Separatists" did not want to pledge allegiance to the Church of England, which they believed was nearly as corrupt and idolatrous as the Catholic Church it had replaced, any longer.

To discover more fun facts about The Mayflower ship, visit our Mayflower display at The Clink Prison Museum!
Mayflower 400 UK

#TortureOfTheDay The Brazen Bull was a bronze hollow bull that could fit a person in it. Once the victim was locked insi...
04/01/2020

#TortureOfTheDay The Brazen Bull was a bronze hollow bull that could fit a person in it. Once the victim was locked inside, they'd light a fire under the bull, slowly roasting the victim inside. What was even more sadistic was that the contraption was fitted with pipes in such a way that the screams of the dying person would resemble the bellowing of an angry bull, much to the amazement of the onlookers.
For more Gruesome History why not visit The Clink Prison Museum, located along the #Southbank on Clink Street.

#Tortureoftheweek is Breaking, a method suspected to be used on Guy Fawkes as a form of interrogation! Breaking was done...
03/01/2020

#Tortureoftheweek is Breaking, a method suspected to be used on Guy Fawkes as a form of interrogation! Breaking was done through the rack, tying victims to it by their hands and feet. Their limbs would be pulled so far beyond endurance that their skeletal structures tore, sometimes becoming permanently damaged..from muscular disorder to paralysis!

There are plenty other torture methods explored here at The Clink, you can even try out the equipment for yourself...

While a spell in the pillory often only lasted an hour or two, usually during the busiest times of day, its effect reall...
02/01/2020

While a spell in the pillory often only lasted an hour or two, usually during the busiest times of day, its effect really depended on the nature of the crime and the mood of the crowd. Four English men who had falsely accused others of crimes to get the reward (sending innocents to the hangman's noose) were beaten to death by the crowd. Others who won the crowd's favor by refusing to pay unjust taxes or mocking government officials were showered with flowers or rescued from the pillory outright.
For more Gruesome History why not visit The Clink Prison Museum, located along the #Southbank on Clink Street.

Happy #Newyear from The Clink Prison Museum!If your heading to the #Southbank #Thames for the fireworks this evening the...
31/12/2019

Happy #Newyear from The Clink Prison Museum!
If your heading to the #Southbank #Thames for the fireworks this evening then why not take a stroll first and pop by?!
We are open until 5pm this evening and 11-5pm on New Years Day, so come and end (or start!) your year with some awesome #history, find us on Southbank, Clink street, a 5 minute walk from London Bridge.

The history of the London Borough of Southwark is often defined by crime and poverty. In the middle-ages it was the hub ...
30/12/2019

The history of the London Borough of Southwark is often defined by crime and poverty. In the middle-ages it was the hub for crime and prostitution. However, while Inns and theatres such as The Globe or The George were developed, Southwark's criminal appearance can be seen in Charles Dickens' Victorian Novels where he discusses those locked in the Marshalsea prison for debt, just as him and his siblings once were as a result of his own father's debt!

River Thames frost fairs were held on the tideway of the River Thames at London in some winters between the 17th century...
29/12/2019

River Thames frost fairs were held on the tideway of the River Thames at London in some winters between the 17th century and early 19th century, during the period known as the Little Ice Age, when the river froze over. During that time the British winter was more severe than now, and the river was wider and slower, further impeded by the medieval Old London Bridge.
During the Great Frost of 1683–84, the worst frost recorded in England, the Thames was completely frozen for two months, with the ice reaching a thickness of 11 inches in London.
It may be cold outside but don't let that stop you, wrap up warm and come down to the The Clink Prison Museum! Situated just minutes away from London Bridge.

The #Mayflowership took multiple journeys up to thousands of miles first transporting merchant goods and then the Separa...
28/12/2019

The #Mayflowership took multiple journeys up to thousands of miles first transporting merchant goods and then the Separatists to America! The ship eventually became worn out and in 1624 the Mayflower was taken apart and sold for scrap. It is for this reason that there is not exact knowledge on what the passengers on the Mayflower had as possessions during their voyage!

Address

1 Clink Street
London
SE1 9DG

Opening Hours

Monday 10:00 - 18:00
Tuesday 10:00 - 18:00
Wednesday 10:00 - 18:00
Thursday 10:00 - 18:00
Friday 10:00 - 18:00
Saturday 10:00 - 19:30
Sunday 10:00 - 21:00

Telephone

+44 20 7403 0900

Website

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Comments

I was posed a Clink Street puzzle today: What follows the burst of gunfire on Clink Street? The answer is two words, four letters each, and one of them is a colour. It took me a little while to make a guess; then I checked it online just to make sure. What do you think?
Hi we are coming Tuesday can we have the cost 4 adults one child please is it cheaper to book in advance ?
The 2019 Sing Sing Prison Calendars are in just in time for the holidays and a happy New Year! This limited print edition includes never before seen photographs of the most historic and still active prison in America! This year's calendar is filled with 14 eloquently archived black & white and contemporary color historical images of the most famous prison Up The River! Along with the iconic imagery, a special written history of Sing Sing is featured on the back cover. This year's front cover is graced with Cardinal Dolan, who came to the Big House to bless the inmates who received communion back in March. To order please send a private message here or by email - [email protected] Have a healthy holiday and happy new year from our Sing Sing family to yours!
Any chance you could vote for this? 🙂 Please sign and forward to ten friends! Let’s make it go viral 💕 This is a project to spread mindfulness in prisons. https://www.avivacommunityfund.co.uk/voting/project/view/4-1561 Many thanks🙏
The clink is awesome. I had a great visit today. Allow enough time to soak in all the interesting facts and displays.
Scary to think what our ancestors got up to...very informative