"an arched gateway, an ugly and enormous thing"
Female convicts at work in Brixton Prison
Public DomainFemale convicts at work in Brixton Prison

 Brixton Prison still operates, though it no longer houses women. Opened in 1820, it soon acquired a reputation as one of the worst prisons in London, due to chronic overcrowding. Prisoners were forced to work on treadmills as a form of punishment.

In 1853, the prison had just been converted into a women's institution; new inmates spent the first four months of their sentence in solitary confinement.

Former inmates include the philosopher Bertrand Russell, grandson of Lord John Russell, who served six months during the First World War for his anti-war activities, and The Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger, who was held at Brixton Prison in 1967 on drugs charges until his sentence was overturned on appeal.