The Bridewell Prison
The plaque on the wall where once stood the Bridewell House of Correction
The former gatehouse to the prison is all that remains. The head above the gates is that of the boy king Edward VI (1537 - 1553) marking the site of Bridewell, which Edward endowed as a hospital, before it became a prison.
The Bridewell Prison was once a Royal Palace of Henry VIII, on the banks of the river Fleet, before becoming London's first house of correction. Small-time crooks were put to work and beaten to help correct their disorderly ways. There were also public whippings of half-naked women, with a gallery built to house a male audience for this display. The whippings were stopped towards the end of the 17th century, with the prison closing by 1855. The women prisoners were re-housed in the newly built Holloway Prison.
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