London Sights

The Clink Prison Museum

  • 1 Clink St. Map It
  • Borough
  • Local Interest–Sight

Published 08/18/2015

Fodor's Review

This attraction devoted to re-creating life in a medieval prison is built on the site of the original "Clink," the oldest of Southwark's five prisons and the reason why the "clink" is now slang for jail. Owned by the Bishops of Winchester from 1144 to 1780 and the oldest of Southwark's five prisons, it was the first to detain women, many for prostitution. Because of the bishops' relaxed attitude toward the endemic trade—they decided to license prostitution rather than ban it—the area within their jurisdiction was known as "the Liberty of the Clink." Inside, you'll discover how grisly a Tudor prison could be, operating on a code of cruelty, deprivation, and corruption. The prison was only a small part of Winchester Palace, a huge complex that was the bishops' London residence. You can still see the remains of the early 13th-century Great Hall, with its famous rose window, next to Southwark Cathedral.

Sight Information


1 Clink St., London, SE1 9DG, England

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Sight Details:

  • £7.50
  • July–Sept., daily 10–9; Oct.–June, weekdays 10–6, weekends 10–7:30; last admission 30 min before closing

Published 08/18/2015


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