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.
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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.

Operating as usual

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.

Hello from The Clink,In response to increasing concerns around the impact of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), and following the l...
15/12/2020

Hello from The Clink,

In response to increasing concerns around the impact of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), and following the latest government advice we are closing The Clink Prison Museum from the 16th of December until further notice.
The health and well-being of our visitors, staff, and local community is of the utmost importance and we have a social responsibility to help limit the spread of this virus.

Stay safe, wash your hands, wear your masks and hopefully see you soon!

Looking for something to keep the family entertained in the run up to #Christmas?Why not visit the The Clink Prison Muse...
14/12/2020

Looking for something to keep the family entertained in the run up to #Christmas?
Why not visit the The Clink Prison Museum?
We are open every day except 25th December so come and explore some fascinating #history!!
What are you waiting for?! Find us on #Southbank

The tradition of singing carols and dancing died out when the Puritans banned such Christmas festivities in the 17th cen...
13/12/2020

The tradition of singing carols and dancing died out when the Puritans banned such Christmas festivities in the 17th century, but the singing element was revived in the Victorian era, adding some new carols such as ‘Away in a Manger’ and ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem.’
Whilst we may sing festive songs from the past we (fortunately!) don’t use traditional #torture as a form of punishment nowadays. Come and discover more at the The Clink Prison Museum this weekend!

Planning on making some family outings? Come and learn about a unique piece of London history at the Clink!We’re not jus...
10/12/2020

Planning on making some family outings?
Come and learn about a unique piece of London history at the Clink!
We’re not just spooky, but family friendly too, why not come and have a go at one of our activity sheets?
And don’t forget the rodent hunt... find all of the rodents and you might be in for a prize at the gift-shop!

#theClink #London #History #Southwark #HistoricSouthwark #BoroughMarket #Bankside #theshard

In 1849, Charles Dickens, along with 30 thousand other spectators, watched the hanging of the Mannings, a notorious pair...
08/12/2020

In 1849, Charles Dickens, along with 30 thousand other spectators, watched the hanging of the Mannings, a notorious pair of murderers, and was appalled by what he saw. This is a letter he sent to The Times in 1849, in which he argued that public executions were inhumane. In the letter, he vividly describes the execution and the actions of the crowds who had gathered to watch.

Most towns had a gibbet just outside of it. People were hung on these and their bodies left to rot over the weeks as a w...
05/12/2020

Most towns had a gibbet just outside of it. People were hung on these and their bodies left to rot over the weeks as a warning to others.

Built on the site of the original notorious Clink Prison and just a 5 minute walk from London Bridge station, we offer a...
04/12/2020

Built on the site of the original notorious Clink Prison and just a 5 minute walk from London Bridge station, we offer a hands-on educational experience, featuring real history that is fun for all ages. Discover the scandalous past of old Bankside, explore the mystery coffin and handle torture equipment, all before receiving your free downloadable photo in our jail cell!

Did you see #Critterclink on I'M A CELEBRITY... GET ME OUT OF HERE! ITV last night?Why not come and visit the original T...
01/12/2020

Did you see #Critterclink on I'M A CELEBRITY... GET ME OUT OF HERE! ITV last night?
Why not come and visit the original The Clink Prison Museum? Get your hands on some gruesome torture equipment and if you're brave enough dig into our coffin to see what's inside.
Open tomorrow 10am!
#bankside #londonbridge

Executioners-to-be would practice on dummies or animals in slaughterhouses to ensure their aim was good - as the neck pr...
30/11/2020

Executioners-to-be would practice on dummies or animals in slaughterhouses to ensure their aim was good - as the neck presents only a small target for a rapidly descending axe brought down from over the back of the head. Similarly, decapitation with a sword can only be done effectively after a considerable amount of practice. Once the head was severed, it was normal for the executioner to hold it up for the crowd to see that the deed had been properly completed!

#TortureOfTheDay Neck Torture: humiliating and painful, this punishment was something of an endurance test during which ...
27/11/2020

#TortureOfTheDay Neck Torture: humiliating and painful, this punishment was something of an endurance test during which the victim would be hooked into a neck device, either made of metal or wood, which prevented the victim from adjusting into a comfortable position. The cruelty of this punishment lay within the fact that they were unable to lie down, eat, or lower their head for days!

Henry Broncker was incarcerated for debt in 1670, like most of the Clink's other residents. His elderly age meant that h...
24/11/2020

Henry Broncker was incarcerated for debt in 1670, like most of the Clink's other residents. His elderly age meant that he had few friends outside the Clink alive to help him. However he was a resourceful man and devised a system to feed himself. Henry would capture and breed brown rats, feeding them an assorted diet of fat, parchment, faeces, and other rubbish. Then he would choose the largest of his rats to skin and eat. It was this practice that earned him the nickname, the Ratman.

Strappado, also known as squassation or the torture of the pulley. The victim had their hands tied behind their back, an...
20/11/2020

Strappado, also known as squassation or the torture of the pulley.
The victim had their hands tied behind their back, and then a rope would be wound through a pulley or similar device, and hoisted up off the ground so that they were suspended by a single cord. In this position, the muscles and bones of the arms were stretched backwards dangerously and very painfully, and ultimately every part of the body put under incredicle strain. To increase the level of pain inflicted, it was a common to attach iron weights to the victim's body and legs, sometimes up to 100 pounds, causing even further strain on the muscular and skeletal structure.

Our #tortureoftheday is the Tongue Tearer! The victim's mouth would be propped open as the device was inserted into the ...
17/11/2020

Our #tortureoftheday is the Tongue Tearer! The victim's mouth would be propped open as the device was inserted into the mouth and the tongue was crudely ripped out!

#TortureOfTheDay  The Pear of Anguish, or 'the choke pear' the device was inserted into the mouth of a blasphemer or her...
13/11/2020

#TortureOfTheDay The Pear of Anguish, or 'the choke pear' the device was inserted into the mouth of a blasphemer or heretic and expanded until the teeth and jaw broke.

#TortureOfTheDay is Pitchcapping. This involves coating a paper cap with burning hot pitch or tar and securing it to the...
09/11/2020

#TortureOfTheDay is Pitchcapping. This involves coating a paper cap with burning hot pitch or tar and securing it to the head of the victim. once the pitch dries the cap is ripped off tearing with it the flesh of the victim. It was used by the military against Irish rebels in the 1798 rebellion.

Hello from The Clink,In response to increasing concerns around the impact of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), and following the l...
04/11/2020

Hello from The Clink,

In response to increasing concerns around the impact of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), and following the latest government advice we are closing The Clink Prison Museum from the 4th of November until the 2nd December.
The health and well-being of our visitors, staff, and local community is of the utmost importance and we have a social responsibility to help limit the spread of this virus.

Stay safe, wash your hands, wear your masks and hopefully see you soon!

#TortureOfTheDay Known as the punishment of ‘sitting in the tub,’ the convicted person would be placed in a wooden tub w...
02/11/2020

#TortureOfTheDay Known as the punishment of ‘sitting in the tub,’ the convicted person would be placed in a wooden tub with only their head sticking out. After that, the executioner would paint their faces with milk and honey; and soon, flies would begin to feed on them.

This was an incredibly popular device used by the Spanish Inquisition, among others of course. The chin was placed over ...
01/11/2020

This was an incredibly popular device used by the Spanish Inquisition, among others of course. The chin was placed over a bottom bar and the head under an upper cap. The torturer slowly turned the screw, pressing the bar against the cap. The head was slowly compressed, first shattering the teeth into the jaw, then squeezing the eyeballs out the sockets. I'm getting a headache just thinking about it!

#TortureOfTheDay is the Judas Cradle, this torture device would have the victim seated on a triangular-shaped seat where...
29/10/2020

#TortureOfTheDay is the Judas Cradle, this torture device would have the victim seated on a triangular-shaped seat where he or she was slowly impaled.The victim was usually naked when subjected to this torture so as to increase humiliation. Come down to the Clink today and learn about other torture devices!

#TortureOfTheDay One unusual medieval punishment was the 'barrel pillory'. Drunkards or petty criminals were trapped ins...
26/10/2020

#TortureOfTheDay One unusual medieval punishment was the 'barrel pillory'. Drunkards or petty criminals were trapped inside and then left to be mocked by their peers - but it was probably better than staying in the Clink!

#TortureoftheDay is flaying. Flaying torture was the art of removing the victims skin while they were still alive and ha...
25/10/2020

#TortureoftheDay is flaying. Flaying torture was the art of removing the victims skin while they were still alive and has been used for thousands of years. The torture would be done using a small knife and could either be started from the head or the feet, but most victims died before the torturer even reached their waist. Talk about nasty. Come to the Clink today to learn more about torture!

#TortureOfTheDay Hot tar was poured or painted onto the person while he was immobilised. Then the victim either had feat...
20/10/2020

#TortureOfTheDay Hot tar was poured or painted onto the person while he was immobilised. Then the victim either had feathers thrown on him or was rolled around on a pile of feathers so that they stuck to the sticky tar. Often the victim was paraded around town on a cart or a rail. The aim was to inflict enough pain and humiliation on a person to cause him to either reform his behaviour or leave town.

Many different societies have used impalement as a torture and execution method, but none so famously as Wallachian Prin...
19/10/2020

Many different societies have used impalement as a torture and execution method, but none so famously as Wallachian Prince, Vlad the Impaler.
Impaling involved driving spike through the body of condemned, usually attempting to miss the vital organs and letting them bleed out for up to 3 days.

Vlad is said to have turned the road into his capital into a 'forest of corpses'. Mehmet II's invading army of Turks supposedly turned back to Constantinople in 1462 after seeing 20,000 impaled corpses.

#TortureOfTheDay Poor night sleep last night? Spare a thought for those unlucky people to be forced to wear the Heretics...
17/10/2020

#TortureOfTheDay Poor night sleep last night? Spare a thought for those unlucky people to be forced to wear the Heretics Fork! A double-sided fork placed between the top of the throat and the chest, sleep was impossible because every time your head drops you are stabbed by the prongs. Find out more about Heretics and torture methods at The Clink today!

Following the destruction of the Clink prison in the Gordon Riots in 1780 it was not rebuilt. The Gordon Riots of 1780 b...
16/10/2020

Following the destruction of the Clink prison in the Gordon Riots in 1780 it was not rebuilt. The Gordon Riots of 1780 began as an anti-Catholic protest in London against the Papists Act of 1778, which was intended to reduce official discrimination against British Catholics. The protest evolved into riots and looting.

#TortureOfTheDay The Shrew's Fiddle, so named because of its resemblance to a violin, was used as a punishment for quarr...
15/10/2020

#TortureOfTheDay The Shrew's Fiddle, so named because of its resemblance to a violin, was used as a punishment for quarrelsome women. It works in the same way as a pillory, securing the head and hands of the women, but still enabling them to be mobile. Some examples could even hold two women, like this picture shows.

#TortureOfTheDay A type of shackle, the ball and chain is designed so that the weight of the iron ball at the end of the...
14/10/2020

#TortureOfTheDay A type of shackle, 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.
For more Gruesome History why not visit The Clink Prison Museum! You can find us just round the corner from Borough Market!

THANK YOU SUPPORTERS!!We are so pleased to announce that everyone who donated to our Crowdfunding campaign earlier in th...
11/10/2020

THANK YOU SUPPORTERS!!
We are so pleased to announce that everyone who donated to our Crowdfunding campaign earlier in the year can now see their name written on our amazing commemorative plaque inside the museum!
We are truly grateful to those who supported us through the Covid-19 pandemic and although no one knows what may happen in the future we remain humbled by the generosity shown by so many people.
Come and see the plaque for yourselves when you visit- find us at 1 Clink Street (on London's amazing Southbank). We can't wait to welcome you!!
#clinkprison #museum #southbank #thankyou #grateful #crowdfunding#explore #history #getoutthere #museum #daytrip #sweetlittlelondon #LondonDisclosure #londoncityworld #londonpass #londonthecity #londonvisitof #london4all #timeoutlondon

#TortureoftheDay : The Scavenger's Daughter. Invented in the reign of King Henry VIII by Sir Leonard Skeffington, Lieute...
10/10/2020

#TortureoftheDay : The Scavenger's Daughter. Invented in the reign of King Henry VIII by Sir Leonard Skeffington, Lieutenant of the Tower of London, this devious device was used against a number of Catholic traitors in the Tudor period. The victim would be forced to crouch within a metal hoop, which would be tightened. This would force the unfortunate individual further into a crouching position, until his ribs and spine would crack, and blood was forced out of his nose and ears, and often fingertips and face.

London was full of entertainment in Tudor times. Bear baiting could be found in the city. The theatres were popular and ...
06/10/2020

London was full of entertainment in Tudor times. Bear baiting could be found in the city. The theatres were popular and full on most nights. Like today, London had many inns and alehouses throughout it and drinking was as popular then as it is today!

In prisons run by Churches, the victims were generally restricted to a diet of stale bread and foul water - in line with...
05/10/2020

In prisons run by Churches, the victims were generally restricted to a diet of stale bread and foul water - in line with a biblical text - and so were effectively condemned to death, since even a diet of good bread and water will sustain human life for only around three months.

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

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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