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13 July 2015

Seek the site of the King's Bench Prison

Originally the King's Bench Prison, and later the Queen's Prison and the Southwark Convict Prison, a prison stood on the site of what is now the Scovell Estate in Borough from 1758 until 1880, replacing a medieval prison which had taken its name from the King's Bench court of law in which cases of defamation and  bankruptcy were heard, amongst others.

In an area with plenty of Dickensian connections, it is probably little surprise that the site is mentioned in his work, and Mr Micawber in David Copperfield is imprisoned for debt in the King's Bench Prison. The Scovell Estate which occupies the site today was built in the 1970s and consists of pleasant low-rise cottagey and rather homely houses administrated by Southwark Council, with some owned by long term leaseholders.

For more, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King%27s_Bench_Prison

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