Central London

London – City of London – Museum of London (Newgate Prison Door)

There have been numerous Newgate prisons over the years, but the medieval one was destroyed during the Great Fire of London in 1666. The new one was designed by Sir Christopher Wren and opened in 1672, but work started in 1770 on a more modern building. No doubt much to the annoyance of the authorities, the new prison that hadn’t yet quite opened was destroyed during the Gordon Riots of 1780 (the worst rioting in the city centre of London that has ever been seen).

So, they started again, with the new prison buildings being completed in 1782. This door, dating from that time, is on display at the Museum of London and it’s fair to say that its wooden and iron construction makes it look well-built and secure. The prison itself survived until 1902 and it was pulled down in 1904, with the Old Bailey building constructed on the site.