Welcome to London Past, an ongoing project to make old images available to a wider audience. For more details please see the About page.

Haymarket Opera House, 1830

Haymarket Opera House, 1830
Built in 1791 by William Taylor to replace the theatre burnt down in 1789 during evening rehearsals. The first public performance was in 1793 and the theatre was then the largest in England. The theatre was renamed Her Majesty’s in 1837 when Victoria came to the throne.
From The Face of London by Howard Clunn.

Millbank Penitentiary, 1829

Millbank Penitentiary, 1829
Built in 1799 at a cost of £500,000 and designed by Jeremy Bentham. The walls were octagon shaped and enclosed 16 acres. Every convict sentenced to transportation was first sent to Millbank. The buildings held 1,120 prisoners until the prison was closed in 1890 and demolished in 1893. The Tate gallery then expanded on to the site.
From The Face of London by Howard Clunn. The engraving is probably based on a painting by Thomas Hosmer Shepherd.
Further reading:
Cholera and the Thames: a detailed artice by Johanna Lemon and Peter Daniel.
Tate Britain: the dreaded Millbank prison.
Knowledge of London: recent pictures of remains of some of the cells.