The Garden Guide

Book: London and Its Environs, 1927
Chapter: 35 Southwark

Clink Street

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We now follow Bankend towards the river, then turn to the right into Clink Street, passing under Cannon St. railway bridge. Clink St., a narrow canon between huge warehouses, leads to St. Saviour's, passing the site of Winchester House, built in 1107 by William Giffard, the town residence of the bishops of Winchester down to 1626. This palace was burned down in 1814. The palace was wrecked by Wyatt's rebels in 1554, when Gardiner was bishop; and during the Commonwealth it was used as a prison for Sir Kenelm Digby and other Royalists. Portions of the old palace still to be seen include a window built into the archway leading to Stoney Street, an old Roman road on the right. Clink St. recalls the manor or park of 70 acres attached to Winchester House and known as the 'Liberty of the Clink,' where a pleasure-quarter sprang up outside the jurisdiction of the city. The Clink Prison was used by the bishops as a place of detention for heretics. John Bradford and John Hooper were imprisoned here; also Philip Massinger and William Houghton (1600), the dramatists. 'In the clink' survives as a slang expression for imprisonment.