Islington museum

Current exhibitions

Find out about our latest free exhibitions and displays

Echoes of Holloway Prison

Dates: Friday 13 July to Saturday 6 October 2018

Opening times: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday: 10am - 5pm. Wednesday and Sunday (and public holidays): closed

Admission: Free

Venue: Islington Museum - Information on visiting the venue

This new exhibition by Islington Museum explores the history and significance of Holloway Prison, the impact of its closure, and the memories of those who lived and worked there.

Until its closure in June 2016, Holloway Prison was western Europe’s largest women’s prison, holding over 500 inmates including both adult women and young offenders. Converted to a female-only establishment in 1902, the prison has housed women from all over Britain.

Notable inmates include many suffragettes in the early 1900s, when the prison became infamous for force-feeding practices and the notorious ‘Cat and Mouse’ legislation. The prison also housed internees during the Second World War including Diane Mosley; and Ruth Ellis, who became the last woman to be executed in the UK when she was hanged in Holloway in 1955.

At the height of its modern usage, Holloway Prison formed a complex community of inmates (both sentenced and on remand), prison officers, governors, ‘civilian’ workers, and charities.

‘Echoes of Holloway Prison’ is a landmark exhibition that seeks to capture the stories of those associated with the prison, including inmates, prison staff and the local community, before these fade from memory.

The exhibition brings together a collection of unusual and rarely seen objects related to the prison from throughout its history, as well as film, talks, events and oral histories, allowing women to tell their stories in their own voices.

More information about ‘Echoes of Holloway Prison’ and details of the accompanying programme of free events to support the exhibition can be found on Echoes of Holloway prison. 

The exhibition is funded by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and is presented in partnership with Holloway Prison Stories, an online repository for people with connections to the prison, and the Middlesex University Department of Criminology and Sociology.

Holloway Prison
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