Esoteric London

No. 53: Roman Way, N7

Posted in Crime and Punishment by esotericlondon on May 12, 2010

HMP Pentonville, Roman Way, London, N7. Photo © Roger Dean 2009

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

To conceive the peculiar character of this building, the reader must imagine four long “wings,” or “corridors,” as they are officially styled, radiating from a centre, like the spokes in a half-wheel; or, what is better, a series of light and lofty tunnels, all diverging from one point, after the manner of the prongs in an open fan. Indeed, when we first entered the inner part of the prison, the lengthy and high corridors, with their skylight roofs, seemed to us like a bunch of Burlington Arcades, that had been fitted up in the style of the opera-box lobbies, with an infinity of little doors-these same doors being ranged, not only one after another, but one above another, three storeys high, till the walls of the arcades were pierced as thick with them as the tall and lengthy sides of a man-of-war with its hundred port-holes.