The Clink Prison Museum

The Clink Prison Museum Attraction, Museum 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.
(272)

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 Wi******er, 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 Wi******er 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.

Operating as usual

5 DAYS until you can take a prison photo behind bars in our jail cell! 👻
12/05/2021

5 DAYS until you can take a prison photo behind bars in our jail cell! 👻

5 DAYS until you can take a prison photo behind bars in our jail cell! 👻

7 DAYS until you can torture your friends in our torture chamber. 💀
10/05/2021

7 DAYS until you can torture your friends in our torture chamber. 💀

7 DAYS until you can torture your friends in our torture chamber. 💀

THE CLINK PRISON MUSEUM IS RE-OPENING ON THE 17th MAY!We are incredibly pleased to announce that from Monday (17/05) The...
09/05/2021

THE CLINK PRISON MUSEUM IS RE-OPENING ON THE 17th MAY!

We are incredibly pleased to announce that from Monday (17/05) The Clink Museum will be OPEN to all our amazing visitors once again!!

It has been an incredibly challenging period for everyone but we are ecstatic to be welcoming you into The Clink once again to explore our fascinating local history.

Be assured that we are following all necessary government guidelines and will be doing our utmost to ensure that every single one of our visitors and staff are kept safe.

This is incredibly exciting news but we know that the impact of Covid-19 is not over yet and this is just the first step for our small independent family business.

We may be a prison museum but we are no longer under ‘lock and key’- come and escape the unusual times we are living through and immerse yourself in London’s gruesome past with us from Monday 17th May! We would LOVE to welcome you in!
#savetheclink #visitus #thankyou South Bank #london See less

THE CLINK PRISON MUSEUM IS RE-OPENING ON THE 17th MAY!

We are incredibly pleased to announce that from Monday (17/05) The Clink Museum will be OPEN to all our amazing visitors once again!!

It has been an incredibly challenging period for everyone but we are ecstatic to be welcoming you into The Clink once again to explore our fascinating local history.

Be assured that we are following all necessary government guidelines and will be doing our utmost to ensure that every single one of our visitors and staff are kept safe.

This is incredibly exciting news but we know that the impact of Covid-19 is not over yet and this is just the first step for our small independent family business.

We may be a prison museum but we are no longer under ‘lock and key’- come and escape the unusual times we are living through and immerse yourself in London’s gruesome past with us from Monday 17th May! We would LOVE to welcome you in!
#savetheclink #visitus #thankyou South Bank #london See less

In the 18th century, cold branding or branding with cold irons became the mode of inflicting the punishment on prisoners...
05/05/2021

In the 18th century, cold branding or branding with cold irons became the mode of inflicting the punishment on prisoners of higher rank. "When Charles Moritz, a young German, visited England in 1782 he was surprised at this custom, and in his diary mentioned the case of a clergyman who had fought a duel and killed his man in Hyde Park. Found guilty of manslaughter he was burnt in the hand, if that could be called burning which was done with a cold iron"

In the 18th century, cold branding or branding with cold irons became the mode of inflicting the punishment on prisoners of higher rank. "When Charles Moritz, a young German, visited England in 1782 he was surprised at this custom, and in his diary mentioned the case of a clergyman who had fought a duel and killed his man in Hyde Park. Found guilty of manslaughter he was burnt in the hand, if that could be called burning which was done with a cold iron"

Vivisepulture, otherwise known as the act of burying something or someone alive, was a common form of execution. Tacitus...
01/05/2021

Vivisepulture, otherwise known as the act of burying something or someone alive, was a common form of execution. Tacitus records that German tribes used to use burying someone alive as a form of capital punishment.

Vivisepulture, otherwise known as the act of burying something or someone alive, was a common form of execution. Tacitus records that German tribes used to use burying someone alive as a form of capital punishment.

Did you know, in medieval England, there were actually times when animals were taken to court for killing people, or com...
22/04/2021

Did you know, in medieval England, there were actually times when animals were taken to court for killing people, or committing other crimes?
In 1474 a rooster was put on trial for "the heinous and unnatural crime of laying an egg,"

Did you know, in medieval England, there were actually times when animals were taken to court for killing people, or committing other crimes?
In 1474 a rooster was put on trial for "the heinous and unnatural crime of laying an egg,"

The cucking stool (also known as a “scolding stool” or a “stool of repentance”) was in most cases a commode or toilet, p...
15/04/2021

The cucking stool (also known as a “scolding stool” or a “stool of repentance”) was in most cases a commode or toilet, placed in public view, upon which the targeted person was forced to sit—usually by restraint, and often while being paraded through the town.

The cucking stool (also known as a “scolding stool” or a “stool of repentance”) was in most cases a commode or toilet, placed in public view, upon which the targeted person was forced to sit—usually by restraint, and often while being paraded through the town.

A common form of punishment was to be flogged at a whipping post and then taken to the pillory. This might account for t...
09/04/2021

A common form of punishment was to be flogged at a whipping post and then taken to the pillory. This might account for the expression "from pillar to post".

A common form of punishment was to be flogged at a whipping post and then taken to the pillory. This might account for the expression "from pillar to post".

Jack Sheppard was perhaps one of the most notorious criminals in the 19th Century. He was an unassuming chap, standing a...
04/04/2021

Jack Sheppard was perhaps one of the most notorious criminals in the 19th Century. He was an unassuming chap, standing at just 5"4, yet was capable of incredible things. He was famed for orchestrating some great escapes from prison, and, remarkably, he escaped from Newgate twice! He was taken to the Gallows aged 22 so it remains to be seen whether the Clink would have been an order to tall for little Jack.

Jack Sheppard was perhaps one of the most notorious criminals in the 19th Century. He was an unassuming chap, standing at just 5"4, yet was capable of incredible things. He was famed for orchestrating some great escapes from prison, and, remarkably, he escaped from Newgate twice! He was taken to the Gallows aged 22 so it remains to be seen whether the Clink would have been an order to tall for little Jack.

Do you celebrate #Easter? This time of year people partake in many religious and non-religious traditions across the wor...
01/04/2021

Do you celebrate #Easter? This time of year people partake in many religious and non-religious traditions across the world.
In some households, a character known as the Easter Bunny delivers sweets and chocolate eggs to children on Easter Sunday morning. The exact origins of the Easter Bunny tradition are unknown, although some historians believe it arrived in America with German immigrants in the 1700s.

Do you celebrate #Easter? This time of year people partake in many religious and non-religious traditions across the world.
In some households, a character known as the Easter Bunny delivers sweets and chocolate eggs to children on Easter Sunday morning. The exact origins of the Easter Bunny tradition are unknown, although some historians believe it arrived in America with German immigrants in the 1700s.

A row of pubs on #Bankside provided a stream of prisoners for the Clink. In fact, the very reason for which a prison was...
27/03/2021

A row of pubs on #Bankside provided a stream of prisoners for the Clink. In fact, the very reason for which a prison was built within the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Winchester was to keep troubling drunkards from disappearing before trial.

24/03/2021
Alex

Alex

This little walk around the parish of St Giles has taken a little while - in fact all winter - to put together; the light quality varies alarmingly, but that's because some pictures were October, and some were December. I just didn't photograph anything in January.

This walk is subtitled 'The Search for Gin Lane' although, for the sake of accuracy, I really don't like gin.

https://www.facebook.com/photo?fbid=3774874189259180&set=pcb.3774960549250544.

#ClinkStreet is a street in #Bankside, #London, between Southwark Cathedral and the Globe Theatre.Narrow, dark and cobbl...
23/03/2021

#ClinkStreet is a street in #Bankside, #London, between Southwark Cathedral and the Globe Theatre.

Narrow, dark and cobbled, it is best known as the historic location of the notorious Clink Prison, giving rise to the slang phrase 'in the clink', meaning 'in prison'. The prison was burned down in riots during 1780.

On the rack, a victims legs and arms were tied to bars at either end of the device, rollers were then used to stretch th...
18/03/2021

On the rack, a victims legs and arms were tied to bars at either end of the device, rollers were then used to stretch the body. The tension was maintained and gradually increased by use of a ratchet.

In the UK, Mother's Day is celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent, and is called Mothering Sunday. During medieval time...
14/03/2021

In the UK, Mother's Day is celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent, and is called Mothering Sunday. During medieval times, poor families often sent their children off to work as domestic servants or apprentices to rich families. Their rare day off was traditionally granted during the Lenten season, so they could worship the Virgin Mary and visit their home, "mother church" and their families. The children would often pick flowers to give to their mothers and bake special cakes called Mothering Cakes or Simnel Cakes (the holiday even used to be known as Refreshment Sunday because the strict Lent fasting rules were put aside for the holiday). Today, Mother's Day in the UK is celebrated with flowers, cards, gifts and family meals

The victim's feet were secured on a small platform. Using wooden or metallic wedges, the torturer slowly fixed the wedge...
13/03/2021

The victim's feet were secured on a small platform. Using wooden or metallic wedges, the torturer slowly fixed the wedges underneath the victim's nails, almost exclusively for confessionary purposes.
What followed next was agonizing pain for the victim, as failure to confess would mean wedging the next nail, and the next. Toe wedging was considered the prelude to more painful and humiliating torture methods that would ensue if the victim failed to confess.
Since the same wedges were used on several victims, it was common for infections, amputations and even death to result.

In 1780, the anti-Catholic Gordon rioters stormed The Clink, releasing the prisoners and burning the building to the gro...
06/03/2021

In 1780, the anti-Catholic Gordon rioters stormed The Clink, releasing the prisoners and burning the building to the ground.

Today, Clink street remains as it was, where you can find the remnants of Winchester Palace (the Rose Window). Otherwise, all else that remains of 'the Liberty of the Clink' is an original wall, inside the museum.

Rats first came to Britain from Asia almost 2000 years ago on Saxon ships and quickly spread across the entire European ...
27/02/2021

Rats first came to Britain from Asia almost 2000 years ago on Saxon ships and quickly spread across the entire European continent. London became a popular destination for rats due to the relative abundance of shelter, warmth, and food scraps thanks to London being a more built-up area. Over the centuries, rat numbers steadily grew and rats continued to stowaway on ships from Asia and arrive in Europe.

England used to be the native home of brown bears, but they became extinct around the 11th century, before having been i...
20/02/2021

England used to be the native home of brown bears, but they became extinct around the 11th century, before having been imported back into the country for sport.
The Bear Garden Elizabethan Amphitheatre served as both a theatre and a blood sports arena for bear-baiting and bull-baiting. It was located on the Bankside in Southwark on the south side of the Thames, 2 minute walk from The Clink Prison.

The Clink was one of the earliest prisons in England, established in 1144 and it endured until 1780- below is the first ...
14/02/2021

The Clink was one of the earliest prisons in England, established in 1144 and it endured until 1780- below is the first known drawing of the Clink from the 16th century. Over this remarkable 600 year span it held a huge variety of offenders and witnessed some of the most fascinating periods of history.

The Jesuit priest John Gerard came to England in 1588 to carry out a secret mission for the Catholic underground. Caught...
10/02/2021

The Jesuit priest John Gerard came to England in 1588 to carry out a secret mission for the Catholic underground. Caught and detained in the Tower of London, Gerard was tortured for information. The priest befriended his prison guard and began to ask for oranges, whose juice he saved to write to confederates to on the outside. With the help of this guard, Gerard even communicated with a fellow Catholic prisoner whose cell he could see from his own, miming directions for developing the orange-juice letters over flame. The two eventually conspired to escape the Tower, with the help of outside accomplices who brought a rope—a feat made more impressive by the fact that Gerard’s fingers had been wrecked during his torture sessions.

One of the earliest versions of the bridge was destroyed in 1014 when Saxons rowed up the Thames, tied ropes to it and d...
07/02/2021

One of the earliest versions of the bridge was destroyed in 1014 when Saxons rowed up the Thames, tied ropes to it and dragged it down. This helped the Anglo-Saxon King retain control of London, and possibly inspired the nursery rhyme 'London Bridge is falling down'.

#didyouknow that for more than 400 years Smithfield in London was the main site for executions? It was favoured by Mary ...
05/02/2021

#didyouknow that for more than 400 years Smithfield in London was the main site for executions? It was favoured by Mary I when burning heretics such as John Rogers, but religious dissidents from the 1300s until the 1700s were executed there, too. There were even occasional judicial executions there in the 1600s#DidYouKnow

#TortureOfTheDay Ordeal by WaterThe accused had their hands and feet tied together. They were then thrown into water. If...
30/01/2021

#TortureOfTheDay Ordeal by Water
The accused had their hands and feet tied together. They were then thrown into water. If they floated they were guilty but if they sank they were innocent.

#TortureOfTheDay If you misbehaved in prison, or in the Navy for that matter, you could be subjected to lashings from a ...
29/01/2021

#TortureOfTheDay If you misbehaved in prison, or in the Navy for that matter, you could be subjected to lashings from a cat o' nine tails! This whip contains nine strands of knotted cord to cause intense pain and cut the skin.

Less than 100 years ago, the death penalty was still legal in the UK, and is still practiced today in the USA and other ...
23/01/2021

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.

#tortureoftheday today is the terrible thumbscrew or 'pilliwink'. Used to crush fingers and thumbs in the hope of extrac...
20/01/2021

#tortureoftheday today is the terrible thumbscrew or 'pilliwink'. Used to crush fingers and thumbs in the hope of extracting confession, larger versions were also made to destroy toes, knees and even heads.

Medieval towns people had a very close understanding of how punishment happened, as they were often present during punis...
16/01/2021

Medieval towns people had a very close understanding of how punishment happened, as they were often present during punishment. Although murderers were often executed, the majority of lesser medieval offences were punished by shaming the criminal publicly.
People also took pity on those in jail and prisoners were often let out to beg for food. Medieval officials lacked the resources or money to build suitable jails and people often died from illness before there trial.

This map printed in the early 19th century, and based on a 17th century plan, shows the importance of the bull and bear ...
09/01/2021

This map printed in the early 19th century, and based on a 17th century plan, shows the importance of the bull and bear baiting in the area. Along with the taverns and brothels they would have drawn hundreds of people to the area. Many of these people would have had to cross London Bridge and pass The Clink.

#TortureOfTheDay The ball and chain is designed so that the weight of the iron ball at the end of the short chain restri...
04/01/2021

#TortureOfTheDay The ball and chain is designed so that the weight of the iron ball at the end of the short chain restricts and limits the pace at which its wearer is able to move, making any attempt at escape much more difficult.

Happy #Newyear from The Clink Prison Museum!
01/01/2021

Happy #Newyear from The Clink Prison Museum!

A typical lane in London would have been ankle deep in a mix of mud, excrement, animal leftovers, garbage, and just abou...
29/12/2020

A typical lane in London would have been ankle deep in a mix of mud, excrement, animal leftovers, garbage, and just about anything else. There may have been some sewers for rain water run off, but not for removing waste water from houses. Plus of course any run off ran into the Thames, where people got their drinking water from too. That's why London was racked with dysentery into the 19th century.

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO EVERYONE!FROM THE CLINK!
25/12/2020

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO EVERYONE!
FROM THE CLINK!

During the Great Frost of 1683–84, the worst frost recorded in England, the Thames was completely frozen for two months,...
23/12/2020

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.

Bubonic Plague was known as the Black Death and had been known in England for centuries. It was a ghastly disease. The v...
19/12/2020

Bubonic Plague was known as the Black Death and had been known in England for centuries. It was a ghastly disease. The victim’s skin turned black in patches and inflamed glands or ‘buboes’ in the groin, combined with compulsive vomiting, swollen tongue and splitting headaches made it a horrible, agonizing killer.

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 - 19:30

Telephone

+44 20 7403 0900

Website

Alerts

Be the first to know and let us send you an email when The Clink Prison Museum posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Contact The Museum

Send a message to The Clink Prison Museum:

Videos

Category

Nearby museums


Comments

In 1841 my GGGG Grandfather was a jailer at Westminister Prison any idea's where I could get more information of this please his name was Jospeh Paul Kirkham 1810-1866 lived in the parish of St Phillips x
I always wondered why my dad would say: "They will probably throw him in the Clink". And he never left Montana. I'm a medieval addict and so now I know. I very seldom here about the Clink in my reading.
Do we have to book or can we just turn up?
On Friday, I went for a walk from St George's Fields to the Borough High Street - there's some amazing history all over that area - prisons, pubs, poets - it's fantastic! (Which is why it's taken me three days to caption them all!)
Following on from last week's little excursion around the city walls, this weekend I decided on a little walk around The Liberty of The Clink.
The other day, fresh from a lovely morning's work at The Clink, preparing for the day that we can re-open, I went for a little walk round Medieval London with my camera. Some people might think Medieval London isn't there any more; but it is...
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