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.

 

Echoes of Holloway Prison events

Workshop: The Empty space of Holloway Prison
Thursday 27 September. 6-8pm. Islington Museum. Admission free
This workshop will explore photographs taken of Holloway Prison after it closed. What can we learn about prison life? How did women held at Holloway make the space their own? We will hold discussion around institutional spaces, women and punishment, memory, the potential and limits of photography, and visual research methodologies. Led by Carly Guest and Rachel Seoighe of Middlesex University. Book online via Eventbrite

Workshop: Reclaiming Holloway
Thursday 4 October. 6-8pm. Islington Museum. Admission free
In May 2017, North London Sisters Uncut occupied Holloway Prison’s Visitors Centre, claiming the space for the local community. In this workshop, representatives from Sisters Uncut will talk about reclaiming Holloway Prison and explore ways to create radical community spaces. Book online via Eventbrite

Talk: Minnie Lansbury
Tuesday 16 October. 6.30-7.30pm. Finsbury Library. Admission free
Minnie Lansbury was an East End Suffragette, socialist, school teacher, champion of the victims of war, and rebel councillor. She was held at Holloway Prison for six weeks following the Poplar Rates Rebellion in 1921 which won its fight to redistribute funding from rich to poorer boroughs. Janine Booth tells her story. Book online via Eventbrite

Holloway Prison

Raids, Rations and Rifles

Islington during the First World War

An exhibition commemorating the centenary of the Great War

Dates: 19 October 2018 – 15 January 2019

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

The centenary of the First World War is being observed nationally from 2014 to 2018.

In the Metropolitan Boroughs of Islington and Finsbury (now a part of Islington), from 1914 until 1918, many families lost a father, brother, son or other relative on the battlefield during the conflict. Life on the home front was also a challenging and sometimes frightening experience.

The cost of the war against Germany and its partners was considerable. Almost one million people lost their lives from Britain and its dominions alone and nearly 10,000 of these were linked in some way to Islington.

Soldiers from local battalions, including those from the Honourable Artillery Company, the Finsbury Rifles and ‘Islington’s Own’ fought on the Western Front, at Gallipoli and in Palestine. Five Islington-born soldiers were each awarded the Victoria Cross during the conflict. Islington sailors were to lose their lives at the Battle of Jutland and over 150 servicemen from Islington and Finsbury fell on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. Women from Islington also served abroad and some were never to return home.

Residents from Islington and Finsbury experienced hostilities and hardships without even leaving the borough during the war. Islington was to feature in the first and last enemy air raids on London. An entire German spy ring was uncovered and an alien internment camp holding 750 internees was established in the north of the borough. Local companies, women and children did more than their bit to help the war effort. And, libraries were turned in hospitals, food offices and recruiting centres.

‘Raids, Rations and Rifles: Islington during the First World War’ focuses on these themes, remembering those who served on the front line, as well as exploring everyday life in the borough as the conflict was brought unavoidably to people’s homes and lives.

Talk: Raids, Rations and Rifles - Islington during the First World War

Dates: Tuesday 30 October. 6-8pm. Finsbury Library. Admission free

A talk commemorating the centenary of the Great War.

In the Metropolitan Boroughs of Islington and Finsbury (now a part of Islington), from 1914 until 1918, many families lost a father, brother, son or other relative on the battlefield during the conflict. The cost of the war against Germany and its partners was considerable. Almost one million people lost their lives from Britain and its dominions alone and nearly 10,000 of these were linked in some way to Islington.

‘Raids, Rations and Rifles’ remembers those who served on the front line, as well as exploring everyday life in the borough as the conflict was brought unavoidably to people’s homes and lives.
Presented by Mark Aston, Local History Manager at Islington Museum and Local History Centre.

Book online via Eventbrite.

Walk: Raids, Rations and Rifles - Finsbury during the First World War

Dates: Saturday 3 November. 11am-12.30pm. Meet at outside Farringdon Station. Free

This walk tells the story of Finsbury during the First World War. We’ll hear about the men who left for the battlefield with local regiments such as the Finsbury Rifles and the German bombs that terrorised those remaining on the home front. We’ll also learn about a famous conscientious objector who was imprisoned for refusing to fight.

As we commemorate the centenary of the Armistice that brought the First World War to an end, this walk will look at how those who lost their lives in this war have been remembered – both in memorials erected in the immediate post-war period and in the series of street plaques Islington has installed for the centenary commemoration.

Led by Jen Pedlar (Clerkenwell and Islington Guides Association), the walk finishes at Islington Museum, St John Street, where you will have the opportunity to visit the ‘Raids, Rations and Rifles’ exhibition.

Book online via Eventbrite.

Talk: Germany’s First World War air raids on London - Islington and Finsbury

Dates: Thursday 15 November. 6.00-7.30pm. Islington Museum. Admission free

The first enemy air raids on England during the First World War were carried out by Zeppelin airships in January 1915. Civilians in Britain, for the first time, were on the firing line. And, the residents and workers of Islington and Finsbury were not to escape from these ‘terror’ attacks.

Islington was to feature in the first and final raids on London. These attacks and more will be recounted by Ian Castle, a leading expert on the history of Germany’s First World War aerial campaign against Britain.

Book online via Eventbrite.

Walk: Raids, Rations and Rifles - Finsbury during the First World War

Dates: Saturday 17 November. 11am-12.30pm. Meet at outside Farringdon Station. Free

This walk tells the story of Finsbury during the First World War. We’ll hear about the men who left for the battlefield with local regiments such as the Finsbury Rifles and the German bombs that terrorised those remaining on the home front. We’ll also learn about a famous conscientious objector who was imprisoned for refusing to fight.

As we commemorate the centenary of the Armistice that brought the First World War to an end, this walk will look at how those who lost their lives in this war have been remembered – both in memorials erected in the immediate post-war period and in the series of street plaques Islington has installed for the centenary commemoration.

Led by Denise Gillard-Parrin (Clerkenwell and Islington Guides Association), the walk finishes at Islington Museum, St John Street, where you will have the opportunity to visit the ‘Raids, Rations and Rifles’ exhibition.

Book online via Eventbrite.

WW1 Manor Gardens 1919

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