Psychology & Sociology Field trip: thrown in the Clink!

The London Brookes College Psychology and Sociology department visited The Clink museum at London Bridge. This informative and enjoyable day gave many
useful insights into the harsh realities of prison life throughout history. It also enormously helped our understanding of Zimbardo?s notorious Stanford Prison
Experiment and prisoner pathology. Both psychology and sociology A Level students study this area and therefore we all found the trip very useful.

The Clink museum is made up of typical medieval prison-like surroundings. We could even see the watermark from where water from the Thames had actually flooded the prison while it was still active. The water rose to hip height leaving some very soggy prisoners! There were also replicas of instruments for punishing and restraining prisoners including a torture chair and even models of severed heads. Our guide was extremely amusing and also very good at explaining the intricacies of crime and punishment. Our guide also explained to us why, in early human civilisations societies in human history, prisons were invented as a way of detaining a suspect before deciding their punishment. Modern ideas about presumed innocence before conviction were not yet formed. So, all detainees were subjected routinely to cruel punishments and deprivation especially if they did not have any money to bribe the guard!

Overall, the trip was very interesting and everyone participated in the discussions with the guide and other school groups. The Clink was an incredibly realistic replica of the original prison and was said the be the inspiration for JK Rowling’s Azkaban in Harry Potter books.

“Man can alter his life by altering his thinking”
-William James

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