Heritics & Traitors at The Clink

This autumn, the Clink Prison Museum proudly opens a new exhibition on religious heresy and traitors

The Clinks busiest period was during the 16th and 17th centuries, when the country underwent a series of religious changes. The ruling monarch was in charge of determining the countries faith depending who was on the throne.

Throughout the reigns of Henry VIII, Bloody Mary, Elizabeth I and James I, religious intolerance and persecution slaughtered thousands of innocent people.  During these torrid times, the countries gaols were full to the brim with priests and the Clink was no exception.

The exhibit hopes to bring a more localised, human touch to the great narrative of the time. It will include tales of spies, invisible ink and terrible tortures but also address’s the many personal histories of Clink inmates and reveal how one particular prisoner became a saint and how another secretly married in his cell.

Through these personal accounts we hope not only to educate the public about the lives of those who lived and died at the Clink, but set their life stories in a wider historical context.

National Curriculum

One particular aim of this new exhibition is to complement the new curriculum for key stage 1, 2 and 3. In particular, for key stage 1 this exhibit will be excellent for teachers looking for an unusual and interactive way to teach their students about ‘significant historical events, people and places in their locality’.

For Key stage 2, the Reformation, where Henry VIII takes control of the religious practices in England and begins to shut down monasteries is an excellent example of ‘the changing power of monarchs’.

And for key stage 3, this new exhibit will be an ideal example of ‘the development of the Church, state and society in Britain 1509-1745’. Through hands on history and guided tours we believe our new exhibition can be a valuable tool to not only learn their history, but to love it!

Guided tours are available – advanced booking required.

The Clink Prison Museum is built upon the original site of The Clink Prison, which dating back to 1144 was one of England’s oldest and most notorious prisons.

Spanning for over 600 years, it witnessed a remarkable amount of social and political change in England, and thus housed a multitude of sinners throughout its existence, including debtors, heretics, drunkards, harlots, and later religious adversaries.

Positioned in the heart of modern day Southwark, the prison was situated in an area that has long been associated with more raucous, vivacious and unruly behaviour; it was the louder, ruder and wickeder neighbour to The City, and a place where Londoners sought entertainment.

Visitors will learn all about this scandalous truth of Old Bankside through a hands-on educational experience, with the opportunity to view archaeological artefacts, handle torture devices, and to view and hear all about the tales of torment and many misfortunes of the inmates of the infamous Clink Prison


Venue: The Clink Prison Museum

Nearest public transport: London Bridge Station

Opening times:

Summer (July – September): 10am – 9pm

Winter (October – June) Monday – Friday 10.00 – 18.00, Saturday and Sunday 10.00 – 19.30

Price:  Adults: £7.50, Children £5.50, Concessions £5.50, Family (2 Adults, two
Children £18.00)

Phone: 02074030900

Email: miranda@clink.co.uk

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