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Durham, Prison

Durham, Prison

Artist: Grimm, Samuel Hieronymus

Medium: Ink on paper

Date: 1773

Shelfmark: Additional MS 15538

Item number: f.216

Length: 232

Width: 144

Scale: Millimetres

Genre: Manuscript

An outline view in ink of the north gateway at Durham. Built around 1072, it adjoined Durham Castle to the west. In the early 15th century it was largely rebuilt by Bishop Langley to house the city jail. It retained this function for the next 400 years. Prison reformer John Howard visited Durham around the same time as Grimm. He wrote of the conditions in the jail: "The men are put at night into dungeons, on seven feet square for three prisoners - another, the 'Great Hole', has only a little window. In this I saw six prisoners, most of the them transports chained to the floor - in that situation they had been for many weeks and were very sick."

In 1819, the prisoners were removed to a new prison within Durham city. The following year, the north gate was removed to ease the flow of traffic.

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