Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Plaque of the Week No.23

The Pokey. The Jug. Stir. Banged Up.

Commemorating: Newgate
Street: Newgate Street
Borough: The City of London

Newgate. The word always sounds so inspiring, redolent of fresh starts and portals to paths never before taken. Portals which are sure to lead to a better world. A new world through Newgate. It could be the name and slogan for a chichi new property development.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The rather grand City of London plaque commemorates the site of Newgate which, in turn, gave its name top London’s most notorious. Cutpurses, murderers, blackmailers, torturers, extortionists… and those were just the guards.

Famous inmates include the writer Daniel Defoe, William Penn and the infamous Captain Kidd. In its later years it provided a final earthly home to such miscreants as Thomas Neill Cream, the Lambeth Poisoner.

It’s only natural that a place of such wickedness and suffering should have left a few spiritual marks behind. Find them on the Ghosts of the Old City walk every Tuesday and Saturday.

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