Page 402. " the handful of dejected sheep that had been put out to graze upon the Oval "
Cricket at the Oval, c.1870
Public DomainCricket at the Oval, c.1870

The Oval is a cricket ground in Lambeth, South London. The land is still owned by the Duchy of Cornwall, the property of the Prince of Wales. In 1845 Surrey County Cricket Club applied to lease the land as a cricket ground; it had previously been a market garden. For many years the grass on the cricket pitch was cropped short by allowing sheep to graze on it. The practice ended when the club introduced horse-drawn lawn mowers.

The first Test match in England was played at the Oval, in 1880, between England and Australia.


Google Map
Page 403. " 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.