Molly Cutpurse


Holloway, House of Correction

The city prison, usually known as ‘Holloway Castle’, was erected in 1854 at a cost of £92,650 and occupied an area of about 10 acres, surrounded by a wall 18 feet high. It had a castellated Gothic front, copied from Warwick Castle, and was comprised of six wings, radiating from a central tower, allowing contained accommodation for about 370 male and 65 female prisoners. It was all warmed by hot water, and each cell measured 13 feet by 7, and received a constant supply of fresh air by means of a ventilating shaft.

The Photographs


A description of Holloway House of Correction about 1862.

A fascinating report from the 1960's

The days I visited Holloway Prison

Bibliography and Links

It is with a great deal of satisfaction that I am now in a position to offer this collection of documents to a wider audience, as I believe they should be. The tired old girl was pulled down in the nineteen seventies and while it was a useful ambassador to the British Criminal system, serving it steadfastly for about 123 years, officialdom eventually turned its back on what was really a spectacular and magnificent piece of architecture and put it to death.

Naturally, for any of those poor souls unlucky enough to have languished there for any length of time, I would hardly expect them to agree with me, however, be that as it may, there can be no denying that the society which built it, was quick to disown its memory. Quite surprising really, but then again, it did take me well over one year of digging around in London's most celebrated institutions (as you may read elsewhere on this site) to uncover as much as I have. And I have a feeling that there is a lot more to be uncovered as well.

I aim is for this this to be a useful resource and an organic one as well, as there is very little 'out there' about the old Holloway Jail. So I do invite you to participate if you can by gifting what memories, photographs and anything else you may think other people might like to read about the old place. (Especially to do with any details which I have got wrong! Remember, I was never there!) Perhaps it may be cathartic and indeed, even freeing for yourself. To know that you have an expression for a memory. I'll leave it to you and perhaps you might pass the word along. Anything offered would be treated with respect and anonymously if that is needed. Or I'll proudly name you if you want. Also, apologies for any solecisms. The site is growing!

My thanks to Ex Senior Officer Gwynne Jones who supplied the photograph of the Holloway badge.

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