Esoteric London

No. 1108: Glaisher Street, SE8

Posted in Crime and Punishment, Public Art, The Thames and its Tributaries by esotericlondon on May 28, 2014

©RogerDean_RED_9914 copy

Glaisher Street, London, SE8. Photo ©RogerDean 2014

The Criminal Prisons of London and Scenes of Prison Life – Henry Mayhew and John Binny, 1862:

At night the [Millbank] prison is nothing but a dark, shapeless structure, the hugeness of which is made more apparent by the bright yellow specks which shine from the casements. The Thames then rolls by like a flood of ink, spangled with the reflections from the lights of Vauxhall bridge, and the deep red lamps from those of the Millbank pier, which dart downwards into the stream, like the luminous trails of a rocket reversed. The tall obeliskine chimneys of the southern bank, which give Lambeth so Egyptian an aspect, look more colossal than ever in the darkness; while the river taverns on either side, at which amateurs congregate to enjoy the prospect and fragrance of the Thamesian mud, exhibit clusters of light which attract the eye from one point to another, along the banks, until it rests at last upon Westminster bridge, where each of the few arches which remain “practicable” for steam-boats and barges is indicated by a red lamp, which glares from the summit of the vault like a blood-shot eye.

[The photograph above is of a detail from the Mikhail Shemyakin sculpture to Peter the Great in Glaisher Street, SE8. Peter the Great spent several months in Deptford during 1698 whilst studying ship building in the Royal Dockyards. R.D.]

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