Horsemonger Lane Gaol

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Horsemonger Lane Gaol (also known as the Surrey County Gaol or the New Gaol) was a prison close to present-day Newington Causeway in Southwark, south London. Built at the end of the 18th century, it was in use until 1878.

Newington Causeway

Newington Causeway is a road in Southwark, London, between the Elephant and Castle and Borough High Street. Elephant & Castle Underground station is at the southern end. It follows the route of the old Roman road Stane Street.

Southwark District of Central London, England

Southwark is a district of Central London and is the north-west of the London Borough of Southwark. Centred 1 12 miles (2.4 km) east of Charing Cross, it fronts the River Thames and the City of London to the north. It was at the lowest bridging point of the Thames in Roman Britain, providing a crossing from Londinium, and for centuries had the only Thames bridge in the area, until a bridge was built upstream more than 10 miles (16 km) to the west. It was a 1295-enfranchised Borough in the county of Surrey, apparently created a burh in 886, containing various parishes by the high medieval period, lightly succombing to City attempts to constrain its free trade and entertainment. Its entertainment district, in its heyday at the time of Shakespare's Globe Theatre has revived in the form of the Southbank which overspills imperceptibly into the ancient boundaries of Lambeth and commences at the post-1997 reinvention of the original theatre, Shakespeare's Globe, incorporating other smaller theatre spaces, an exhibition about Shakespeare's life and work and which neighbours Vinopolis and the London Dungeon. After the 18th century decline of Southwark's small wharves, the borough rapidly grew in population and saw the growth of great docks, printing/paper, railways, goods yards, small artesan and other often low-wage industries and Southwark was among many such inner districts to see slum clearance and replacement largely with social housing during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It is now at an advanced stage of regeneration and has the City Hall offices of the Greater London Authority. At its heart is the area known as Borough, which has an eclectic covered and semi-covered market and numerous food and drink venues as well as the skyscraper The Shard. Another landmark is Southwark Cathedral, a priory then parish church created a cathedral in 1905, noted for its Merbecke Choir.

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History

Locations of King's Bench Prison and Horsemonger Lane Gaol c.1833 King's Bench Prison and Horsemonger Lane Gaol from 1833 Schmollinger map.jpg
Locations of King's Bench Prison and Horsemonger Lane Gaol c.1833

Constructed between 1791 and 1799 to a design by George Gwilt the Elder, architect surveyor to the county of Surrey, this was once the largest prison in the county, and was adjacent to Sessions House, a court building also designed by Gwilt. It was built to replace the old county gaol housed at what had been the nearby 'White Lion Inn' on Borough High Street, Southwark (informally called the 'Borough Gaol') dating from the Tudor period.

George Gwilt (1746–1807), also sometimes known as George Gwilt the Elder, was an English architect of the late 18th and early 19th century, particularly associated with buildings in and around London.

Architect person trained to plan and design buildings, and oversee their construction

An architect is a person who plans, designs and reviews the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to provide services in connection with the design of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the buildings that have human occupancy or use as their principal purpose. Etymologically, architect derives from the Latin architectus, which derives from the Greek, i.e., chief builder.

Surveying The technique, profession, and science of determining the positions of points and the distances and angles between them

Surveying or land surveying is the technique, profession, and science of determining the terrestrial or three-dimensional positions of points and the distances and angles between them. A land surveying professional is called a land surveyor. These points are usually on the surface of the Earth, and they are often used to establish maps and boundaries for ownership, locations, such as building corners or the surface location of subsurface features, or other purposes required by government or civil law, such as property sales.

Horsemonger Lane remained Surrey’s principal prison and place of execution up to its closure in 1878. It was a common gaol, housing both debtors and criminals, with a capacity of around 300 inmates. In total, 131 men and four women were executed there between 1800 and 1877, the gallows being erected on the flat roof of the prison's gatehouse.

Capital punishment, also known as the death penalty, is a government-sanctioned practice whereby a person is killed by the state as a punishment for a crime. The sentence that someone be punished in such a manner is referred to as a death sentence, whereas the act of carrying out the sentence is known as an execution. Crimes that are punishable by death are known as capital crimes or capital offences, and they commonly include offences such as murder, mass murder, terrorism, treason, espionage, offenses against the State, such as attempting to overthrow government, piracy, drug trafficking, war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, but may include a wide range of offences depending on a country. Etymologically, the term capital in this context alluded to execution by beheading.


A debtor is an entity that owes a debt to another entity. The entity may be an individual, a firm, a government, a company or other legal person. The counterparty is called a creditor. When the counterpart of this debt arrangement is a bank, the debtor is more often referred to as a borrower.

Gallows structure for execution

A gallows is a frame, typically wooden, from which objects can be hung or “weighed.” Gallows were thus widely used for public weighing scales for large objects such as sacks of grain or minerals, usually positioned in markets or toll gates. The term was also used for a framework from which an ship’s anchor might be raised so that it no longer sat on the bottom, i.e., “weighing [the] anchor.” In modern usage it has come to mean almost exclusively a scaffold or gibbet used for execution by hanging.

By 1859, the gaol was no longer known as 'Horsemonger Lane' following the road's change of name to Union Road (today: Harper Road), being renamed Surrey County Gaol (although its alternative name, the New Gaol, the gaol should not be confused with the New Prison, located north of the River Thames in Clerkenwell).

New Prison

The New Prison was a prison located in the Clerkenwell area of central London between c.1617 and 1877. The New Prison was used to house prisoners committed for examination before the police magistrates, for trial at the sessions, for want of bail, and occasionally on summary conviction.

River Thames river in southern England

The River Thames, known alternatively in parts as the Isis, is a river that flows through southern England including London. At 215 miles (346 km), it is the longest river entirely in England and the second longest in the United Kingdom, after the River Severn.

Clerkenwell area of inner north London in the London Borough of Islington

Clerkenwell is an area of central London, England. The area includes the sub-district of Finsbury.

The gaol was demolished in 1881 and the site is today a public park, Newington Gardens, adjacent to the present Inner London Crown Court, opened in January 1921.

Newington Gardens park in London, England

Newington Gardens is located on Harper Road in Southwark, London, England. To the north-west is the Inner London Sessions House, a Crown Court. Its area is 1.697 hectares. The park occupies part of the site of an old prison that was closed in 1878. The park was opened by Mrs Gladstone on 5th May 1884.

Inner London Crown Court Southwark, Greater London, SE1

The Inner London Sessions House Crown Court, more commonly known as the Inner London Crown Court and distinct from the Inner London Magistrates Court, is a Crown Court building in London, United Kingdom. It is located in the Sessions House on Newington Causeway at the corner of Harper Road in the Newington area of the London Borough of Southwark in south London. There has been a judicial building on the site since 1794.

Literary connections

In 1849, Charles Dickens attended the public hangings outside the gaol of husband and wife Frederick and Maria Manning, who had killed a friend for his money and buried him under the kitchen floor. Dickens wrote to The Times condemning such public spectacles. [1]

Charles Dickens English writer and social critic

Charles John Huffam Dickens was an English writer and social critic. He created some of the world's best-known fictional characters and is regarded by many as the greatest novelist of the Victorian era. His works enjoyed unprecedented popularity during his lifetime, and by the 20th century critics and scholars had recognised him as a literary genius. His novels and short stories are still widely read today.

<i>The Times</i> British newspaper, founded 1785

The Times is a British daily national newspaper based in London. It began in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register, adopting its current name on 1 January 1788. The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers, since 1981 a subsidiary of News UK, itself wholly owned by News Corp. The Times and The Sunday Times do not share editorial staff, were founded independently, and have only had common ownership since 1967.

Dickens later based the character of Hortense in Bleak House on Maria Manning, while Mrs Chivery's tobacco shop in Little Dorrit is located on Horsemonger Lane. [2] Executions at Horsemonger Lane are also mentioned in Sarah Waters' novel Fingersmith .

Inmates

See also

Related Research Articles

A county town in Great Britain or Ireland is usually, but not always, the location of administrative or judicial functions within the county. The concept of a county town is ill-defined and unofficial. Following the establishment of county councils in 1889, the administrative headquarters of the new authorities were usually located in the county town of each county. However, this was not always the case and the idea of a "county town" pre-dates the establishment of these councils. For example, Lancaster is the county town of Lancashire but the county council is located at Preston.

London Borough of Southwark Borough in United Kingdom

The London Borough of Southwark in South London, England forms part of Inner London and is connected by bridges across the River Thames to the City of London. It was created in 1965 when three smaller council areas amalgamated under the London Government Act 1963. All districts of the area are within the London postal district. It is governed by Southwark London Borough Council.

Newington, London district of Central London, England, and part of the London Borough of Southwark

Newington is a district of central London, just south of the River Thames, and part of the London Borough of Southwark. It was an ancient parish and the site of the early administration of the county of Surrey. It was the location of the County of London Sessions House from 1917, in a building now occupied by the Inner London Crown Court.

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Margaret Waters was an English serial killer hanged by executioner William Calcraft on 11 October 1870 at Horsemonger Lane Gaol in London.

Newington Butts

Newington Butts is a former hamlet, now an area of the London Borough of Southwark, that gives its name to a segment of the A3 road running south-west from the Elephant and Castle junction. The road continues as Kennington Park Road leading to Kennington; a fork right is Kennington Lane, leading to Vauxhall Bridge.

Dulwich Wood

Dulwich Wood, together with the adjacent Sydenham Hill Wood, is the largest extant part of the ancient Great North Wood in the London Borough of Southwark. The two woods were separated after the relocation of The Crystal Palace in 1854 and the creation of the high level line in 1865. The wood is privately owned and managed by the Dulwich Estate.

Kings Bench Prison

The King's Bench Prison was a prison in Southwark, south London, England, from medieval times until it closed in 1880. It took its name from the King's Bench court of law in which cases of defamation, bankruptcy and other misdemeanours were heard; as such, the prison was often used as a debtor's prison until the practice was abolished in the 1860s. In 1842, it was renamed the Queen's Prison, and later became the Southwark Convict Prison.

Wood Street Compter

The Wood Street Compter was a small prison within the City of London in England. It was primarily a debtors' prison, and also held people accused of such misdemeanours as public drunkenness, although some wealthier prisoners were able to obtain alcohol through bribery. The prison was built and opened in 1555, replacing the earlier Bread Street Compter, from which many prisoners were transferred.

Marie Manning (murderer) Swiss murderer

Marie Manning was a Swiss domestic servant who was hanged outside of London's Horsemonger Lane Gaol on 13 November 1849, after she and her husband were convicted of the murder of her lover, Patrick O'Connor, in the case that became known as the "Bermondsey Horror". It was the first time a husband and wife had been executed together in England since 1700.

Marshalsea Road

Marshalsea Road is a major street in Southwark, south London, England. At the northwest end is the Southwark Bridge Road. At the southeast end is Borough tube station on Borough High Street. Continuing across the street are Long Lane and Great Dover Street. At the northeast corner is the historic St George the Martyr church, where the Charles Dickens character Little Dorrit was married in Dickens' book of the same name. The area around Marshalsea Road has many Dickens associations.

Southwark St George the Martyr

Southwark St George the Martyr was a civil parish in the metropolitan area of London, England and part of the ancient Borough of Southwark. In 1855 the parish vestry became a local authority within the area of responsibility of the Metropolitan Board of Works. It comprised 284 acres (1.15 km2) and had a population in 1881 of 59,712.

Long Lane (Southwark)

Long Lane is a major road in Southwark, south London, England. At the northwest end is a complicated junction with Borough High Street, Marshalsea Road, Tabard Street, and Great Dover Street. The historic St George the Martyr church, with Dickensian connections, is at this junction, now standing on an island surrounded by roads and cut off from its original churchyard. In this church the eponymous Dickens character Little Dorrit was baptised and married. Charles Dickens himself lodged close by as a child in Lant Street when his father was in the Marshalsea debtors' prison during 1824. It was a traumatic period of his life. Also at this junction is the Borough Underground station.

This is a list of the etymology of street names in the London district of Southwark. The area has no formally defined boundaries – those utilised here are: the river Thames to the north, Tower Bridge Road to the east, Bricklayers Arms/New Kent Road/Elephant and Castle to the south, and London Road/St George’s Circus/Blackfriars Road to the west.

References

Coordinates: 51°29′52″N0°05′46″W / 51.4977°N 0.0960°W / 51.4977; -0.0960