The Noble Castle: Holloway as a Victorian Radial Prison

Paul Rock

in Reconstructing a Women's Prison

Published in print May 1996 | ISBN: 9780198260950
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191682179 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Studies in Criminology

The Noble Castle: Holloway as a Victorian Radial Prison

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This chapter begins by describing something of the architecture and social organisation of the first Holloway prison whose demolition and replacement are the substantive theme of this book. The old prison had a strong identity which must be appreciated before other matters can be understood. Holloway was a paradigmatic radial prison which nevertheless came to be condemned by the Home Office as unfit for the exercise of a progressive penology. What had enabled the practice of one style of control was held in time to thwart another. The benign became malign, and it was to be the almost dialectical clash between the two, between what were held to be the faults of the old and the promise of the new, that fired administrators and architects in the 1960s and 1970s.

Keywords: architecture; social organisation; Holloway prison; demolition; radial prison; Home Office; progressive penology

Chapter.  12166 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Criminal Law

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