Source 1

Ground plan of HM Prison Cold Bath Fields (WORK 30/5978)

The grey shading shows old buildings, the pink shows building which was new in 1884, increasing the capacity of the prison to 1,000 prisoners.


Read an accessible visual description of the map.


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1. Look at Source 1.

Coldbath Fields Prison was named after a well nearby. It was an old prison, re-built in 1794, holding men, women and children. In 1850 it was changed to take men only and extended again. It was known as a tough prison, used for local London criminals on short sentences.

  • What was the purpose of each of the rooms/buildings/spaces you have found in the prison plan?
  • What do these areas reveal about prison life?
  • Can you explain why the Fever Hospital, the new prison, the Treadwheel house and flourmill, the Governor’s House are situated where they are?
  • How many prison cells can you see from the Rotunda, the circular building at the centre of the prison?