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TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
Brixton Prison Treadwheel
The location of the infamous Brixton Treadwheel.
Location: Jebb Avenue, Streatham Hill
Description: The Surrey House of Correction was originally built in 1820 and opened as the Surrey House of Correction to house just 175 prisoners. This was regularly exceeded causing consistently poor conditions in its small cells.
In 1821 it was one of the first prisons to introduce bizarre treadwheels to make their prisoners produce flour for their own bread.
They were sensational news of their day even more so because they were designed by the distinguished architect William Cubitt.
Prisoners generally worked for ten minutes on and five minutes off the treadwheel although some reports think that generous.
It was considered to be a great deterrant to reoffending, although no doubt many didn't survive the physical trauma.