Many of us know that prisoners were often put to work on meaningless, soul-destroying tasks, from the treadwheel to picking oakum- but did you know that they also created beautiful things on occasion?
Next time you visit the architecturally lovely V&A Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green, London, don’t just look up and around – look down, too.
For the floor you walk on – featuring marble fish-scales – was made by female convicts at Woking Prison in the 19th century.
They might not have been able to see their finished handiwork, but you can: and it’s good to see that the Museum acknowledges their contribution, too. See my slideshow below for a look at the prisoners’ floor…