Location: London, England
Notable Residents: Captain William Kidd, Thomas Neill Cream (claimed to be Jack the Ripper), William Penn, Catherine Wilson (last woman hanged publicly in London)
Amenities: Prisoners got to watch public executions, a cruel intimidation factor
Newgate Prison, originally built in 1188 by Henry II, is located just inside London. It was destroyed during the 1666 Great Fire of London, and rebuilt six years later with significant additions. The prison was managed by two sheriffs, who would rent it to "keepers" for a price. These keepers got over, as they were allowed to demand payment from prisoners, and were given incentive to be cruel to inmates—they charged fees to have chains removed from the bodies of prisoners.
During the 18th century, it became London's main prison, and public executions were held in front of the building, drawing large crowds. Newgate also served as a training site for future executioners.
Female prisoners and their children were housed in squalor. An investigation by social reformer Elizabeth Fry led to an overhaul of the prison's interior so that prisoners could be better accommodated. By the end of the 19th century, public executions were discontinued, as all executions were moved to the gallows inside prison walls. Newgate closed in 1902 and was demolished two years later. It appears in several Charles Dickens novels, including A Tale of Two Cities, Oliver Twist, and Great Expectations.