Old bridewell, Deptford Church Street, c.1841
Bridewells were prisons used in the 18th century and early 19th century to house petty criminals. The popular name 'bridewell' derives from St Bride's Well, a holy well in the City of London, near which Henry VIII had a lodging of the same name. After Henry's death, this lodging was donated from the royal estates by Edward VI for use as a hospital. In the 18th century, the building was converted for use as a prison.