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.

There were no laws or rules to protect the treatment of prisoners who faced torture or punishment. No matter what the ty...
19/03/2020

There were no laws or rules to protect the treatment of prisoners who faced torture or punishment. No matter what the type of torture or punishment was used it was seen as a totally legitimate means for justice to extract confessions, obtain the names of accomplices, obtain testimonies or confessions or to impose a penalty, sanctioned by law for a wrong committed.

18/03/2020

There are an estimated 10 million living Americans and 35 million people around the world who are descended from the original passengers on the Mayflower like Myles Standish, John Alden and William Bradford. They include Humphrey Bogart, Julia Child, Norman Rockwell, and presidents John Adams, James Garfield and Zachary Taylor.
Mayflower 400 UK - Ideas, Events and Connections

A crime punishable by burning at the stake was treason. But while high treason was a very strong accusation and usually ...
15/03/2020

A crime punishable by burning at the stake was treason. But while high treason was a very strong accusation and usually reserved for those deliberately trying to kill or undermine the ruling classes, there also existed the crime of petty treason, which under common law was when someone murdered their direct superior. In particular, if a woman killed her husband, who was considered to be her master, she would be sentenced to burn at the stake.
To learn more about the inmates of The Clink, life in medieval London and torture devices, come and visit us at The Clink!

#OnThisDay in 1590 The French King Henry IV beats the Catholic league in the Battle of Ivry during the French Wars of Re...
14/03/2020

#OnThisDay in 1590 The French King Henry IV beats the Catholic league in the Battle of Ivry during the French Wars of Religion. It was a royalist victory aided by the English, as the presence of the monarchy was always strong during the time of The Clink, deciding the beliefs of the many and the prisoners of The Clink. #battle #clink

Throughout history, many societies have used tarring and feathering as both punishment and humiliation. The practice rea...
12/03/2020

Throughout history, many societies have used tarring and feathering as both punishment and humiliation. The practice reaches as far back as the 12th century, and the last instance occurred as recently as 1981, despite most people associating the ritual with the late 18th century.

Although instances of tarring and feathering have occurred globally throughout history, one of the most bizarre comes from the island of Dominica (now the Dominican Republic): in 1789, a British soldier was caught engaging in sexual acts with a turkey and was made to "wear the bird's feathers" in his beard and around his neck. Other victims of the punishment include drunken nuns and priests, British officers in the American colonies, and, in the last century, African-Americans at the hands of racially intolerant groups.

Contrary to popular belief, tarring and feathering was not fatal – the survival rate was actually very high – but the punishment itself was slow, brutal, and purposefully humiliating.

Mayflower 400 UK - Ideas, Events and Connections
11/03/2020

Mayflower 400 UK - Ideas, Events and Connections

If visiting the Clink Prison Museum with a group of 10 or more why not take advantage of booking one of our qualified to...
10/03/2020

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]

In case of ordeal by combat the two parties in dispute had to fight. It was mostly done when one party was accused by th...
08/03/2020

In case of ordeal by combat the two parties in dispute had to fight. It was mostly done when one party was accused by the other, but there were no witnesses or confessions. The winner of the fight was declared innocent. It was one of the most common methods employed by the judiciary during the middle ages.
Come and visit us at the Clink Prison Museum where you and all the family can handle torture equipment and see real medieval artifacts! You can even get a free photo in our prison cell to take home with you! Find us near Borough Market!

People used religion to explain things. If they fell and broke their arm or caught a nasty infection, it was a punishmen...
05/03/2020

People used religion to explain things. If they fell and broke their arm or caught a nasty infection, it was a punishment from God. If a baby died, it was because God wanted it. For most ordinary people, life was terribly hard and heaven seemed a warm and comfortable reward for all of their suffering on Earth.

If people were bad, however, there would be no reward in the afterlife – quite the opposite in fact! As well as being told about hell by the priest, there were pictures, statues and stained glass windows to remind people what hell was like. Huge doom paintings showed angels welcoming people into heaven and devils pulling wicked people into hell and torturing them in all sorts of horrific ways.

04/03/2020

The Mayflower ship was divided into several different sections, and each section served a different purpose. The bottom on the boat was called the cargo hold. The cargo hold is where all the supplies and gear was stored. Above the cargo hold were the between decks, the decks where the 102 passengers lived and slept. Remember that conditions were extremely tight. The ceilings in the between decks were so low that anyone taller than 5 feet would have to hunch over at all times.

There was a small area near the front of the ship called the forecastle, and that's where the meals were cooked and served. There was also a cabin at the back of the ship where about 30 crew members slept.
Mayflower 400 UK - Ideas, Events and Connections

Are you or someone you know learning about crime and punishment this term?? We have lots of information about medieval t...
03/03/2020

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

Pillories were positioned on platforms in public places such as crossroads and marketplaces so the offender was in full ...
01/03/2020

Pillories were positioned on platforms in public places such as crossroads and marketplaces so the offender was in full view of the public. Once a crowd had gathered, they would throw rotten food, excrement, offal, and mud whilst jeering at the victim. Sometimes the criminal would be whipped, have his hair sheared off, or, in the case of one man, lose his ear!

To learn about the pillories and other grim torture devices, come down to the Clink!

#OnThisDay in 1528 Patrick Hamilton died, a Scottish churchman and an early Protestant Reformer in Scotland. He travelle...
29/02/2020

#OnThisDay in 1528 Patrick Hamilton died, a Scottish churchman and an early Protestant Reformer in Scotland. He travelled to Europe, where he met several of the leading reforming thinkers, before returning to Scotland to preach. He was tried as a heretic by Archbishop James Beaton, and was burned at the stake in St Andrews.

This behavior was not unique to Scotland and the burning of heretics was hugely popular in England too. The Clink held heretics and other political prisoners before they were tried and burned at the stake. To find out more about heretics, and forms of punishment, stop by The Clink!

#TortureOfTheDay Impalement: Traditionally, the stake would be partially sharpened and planted, point up, in the ground....
26/02/2020

#TortureOfTheDay Impalement: Traditionally, the stake would be partially sharpened and planted, point up, in the ground. The victim would then be placed over the spike and their own body weight dragged them further onto the pole, the semi-greased wooden stake would force its way up through their body, piercing organs with an agonizing slowness as it eventually penetrated the entire torso, finally tearing an exit wound through the skin of the shoulder, neck or throat.

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...
25/02/2020

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].

The dark ages were the medieval time frame when the very harsh torture was used most commonly to punish those who ran af...
24/02/2020

The dark ages were the medieval time frame when the very harsh torture was used most commonly to punish those who ran afoul of the law. Torture was a common sentence for traitors, spies and even common thieves. In case of violators of civil law, the torture would be carried out in the town square in order to communicate to the citizenry that violating the law was a serious matter.
For more Gruesome History why not visit The Clink Prison Museum, located along the #Southbank on Clink Street.

If your visiting or walking along the Southbank then come along to The Clink Prison Museum.Located on #Southbank, just a...
23/02/2020

If your visiting or walking along the Southbank then come along to The Clink Prison Museum.
Located on #Southbank, just a short walk from the Tate Modern, Borough Market and London Bridge.

#TortureOfTheDay Flute of Shame, a medieval torture device that was used for publicly shaming bad musicians and other di...
20/02/2020

#TortureOfTheDay Flute of Shame, a medieval torture device that was used for publicly shaming bad musicians and other disturbers of the peace.
The contraption, which is essentially a heavy iron flute – although you probably wouldn’t want play it – was shackled to the musician’s neck.
The musician’s fingers were then clamped to the keys, to give the impression they were playing the instrument.
Finally, just to further their humiliation, they were forced to wear the flute while being paraded around town, so the public could throw rotten food and vegetables at them.

The Mayflower arrived at Cape Cod (in modern-day Massachusetts) on 9 November 1620 and if the voyage had been bad, that ...
19/02/2020

The Mayflower arrived at Cape Cod (in modern-day Massachusetts) on 9 November 1620 and if the voyage had been bad, that was nothing compared to the first winter that followed. Due to food shortages and outbreaks of disease, only half that had made the journey survived to see spring and the creation of their New World settlement, Plymouth.
Mayflower 400 UK - Ideas, Events and Connections

#Torture was a big part of crime and punishment throughout time and jailers often got creative with different ways to to...
18/02/2020

#Torture was a big part of crime and punishment throughout time and jailers often got creative with different ways to torture their criminals. To discover the array of torture equipment used over a span of 600 years, The Clink's torture room is the place for you!

#OnThisDay in 1952 the Queen's father, King George VI, was was laid to rest in St .George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.In Tu...
15/02/2020

#OnThisDay in 1952 the Queen's father, King George VI, was was laid to rest in St .George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.

In Tudor times, among other periods, the replacement of the monarch might bring a new set of religious beliefs impressed on the people, leading to either Catholic or Protestant political prisoners in The Clink. To find out more about the types of prisoners over the years, come and immerse yourself in the history of The Clink.

#TortureOfTheDay The Russian knout had different forms. One was a lash of rawhide, 40 cm long, attached to a wooden hand...
13/02/2020

#TortureOfTheDay The Russian knout had different forms. One was a lash of rawhide, 40 cm long, attached to a wooden handle, 22 cm long. The lash ended in a metal ring, to which was attached a second lash as long, ending also in a ring, to which in turn was attached a few inches of hard leather ending in a beak-like hook. Another kind consisted of many thongs of skin plaited and interwoven with wire, ending in loose wired ends, like the cat-o-nine tails.

In September 1620, a merchant ship called the Mayflower set sail from Plymouth, a port on the southern coast of England....
12/02/2020

In September 1620, a merchant ship called the Mayflower set sail from Plymouth, a port on the southern coast of England. Normally, the Mayflower’s cargo was wine and dry goods, but on this trip the ship carried passengers: 102 of them, all hoping to start a new life on the other side of the Atlantic. Nearly 40 of these passengers were Protestant Separatists–they called themselves “Saints”–who hoped to establish a new church in the New World. Today, we often refer to the colonists who crossed the Atlantic on the Mayflower as “Pilgrims.”
Mayflower 400 UK - Ideas, Events and Connections

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...
11/02/2020

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].

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?

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