The Clink: England’s Oldest Prison

The oldest prison in England and the country’s most notorious was owned not by the reigning monarch but the Bishop of Winchester. Now why would a bishop, a man of god, you may ask, would need a prison for? To keep heretics, of course. In later years, “Clink”, as the prison was called, was used to imprison debtors as well as any miscreants. Its name is thought to have derived from the sound metal makes when the prison's doors were bolted close, or from the rattling of the chains the prisoners wore.

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The Clink prison, now a museum. Photo: Matt Brown/Flickr


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