Old Bailey :: Visitors' Map of London :: A-Z Maps


Old Bailey

The 'Old Bailey' - London's principal criminal court makes its mark on the skyline with the famous gold 'Figure of Justice', her hands outstretched, scales in one, sword in the other. Each court has a public gallery, Court No 1 deals with the most important trials which can attract a large crowd hoping to gain admission to the Public Gallery in Newgate Street, which seats 28. Five other courts seat up to 32 each.

The building dating from 1902-7, occupies the site of the former notorious Newgate Prison some stones from which were used in the construction. Public executions took place at the prison between 1783-1867 - outside the debtors' door, and near the present Court's entrance. Prior to 1783 condemned prisoners were taken by cart to Tyburn (Marble Arch), to the tolling of St Sepulchre's bell. Standing opposite, this church also once followed the custom of presenting prisoners with a nosegay each as they passed; inside may be seen the hand bell of 1605 rung outside the condemned cell at midnight on the eve of execution.

See Also: Newgate Street - EC1, Royal Courts of Justice

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