The Clink was a prison in Southwark, England which functioned from the 12th century until 1780 either deriving its name from, or bestowing it on, the local manor, the Clink Liberty (see also the Liberty of the Clink). The manor and prison were owned by the Bishop of Winchester and situated next to his residence at Winchester Palace. The Clink was possibly the oldest men’s prison and probably the oldest women’s prison in England.
The origins of the name “The Clink” are uncertain, but it is possibly onomatopoeic and derives from the sound of striking metal as the prison’s doors were bolted, or the rattling of the chains the prisoners wore.
There has been a prison owned by the Bishop of Winchester in one form or another since the year 860, although at that time it would only have been one cell in a priests’ college. By 1076 an archbishop had listed the types of punishment allowed, scourging with rods, solitary confinement, and bread and water in silence.
The Clink Prison History Guide Book.
The history guide book is a full colour with illustrations in English, French, Spanish, German and Italian, it has a very useful timeline to help you understand English history during the time of The clink, it is an educational memento to remind you of your visit to The Clink.
Please Note – The book is collected on arrival.