Most Curious Wonders to Discover on Museum Mile this Summer
Number 5 on Love Camden's Most Curious Wonders To Discover on Museum Mile this summer is our copy of 'Barnaby Rudge' bound in prison wood!
Dickens was fascinated with prisons and often visited them in London and when he travelled abroad. Prisons featured in Dickens’s journalistic pieces, as a location in many of his novels and highlighted his belief in the need for reform in the justice system.
Newgate Prison opened on the outskirts of the city of London in the twelfth century. The structure was added to and rebuilt several times. When Dickens visited, it was split into two sections for common prisoners and those who could afford more comfortable accommodation, and it also had a section for public executions. It was finally closed and demolished in 1902 and the Central Criminal court (the Old Bailey) now stands on the site.
The person who customised this copy of Barnaby Rudge, had picked up wood from a demolition sale at the closure of the prison. He then sculpted the cover of the book with wood from beams that had been burnt during the Gordon Riots in 1790 - a historical event that features in the novel.
Click on the link below to discover the other must see wonders on Museum Mile this summer.