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8 October 2010

Step inside an 18th century debtors prison

At the beginning of the Museum of London's new downstairs galleries, visitors have an opportunity to experience a prison cell which was once part of the Wellclose Square prison, and served as a temporary home to those serving time for unpaid debts.

It is thought the cell dates from around 1750, and was part of the small courthouse and house of correction in Newgate, just to the east of the Tower of London. It is quite atmospheric, with low light and the noise of trickling water and rats coming from somewhere nearby.

The walls are made entirely of wood and feature a range of different pieces of 18th century graffiti, with words and images of buildings carved by inmates. For more information, see here

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