Photo by Gareth Gardner
Millbank Penitentiary 1994
Wood, glass, aluminium, paint, lacquer
112 x 112 x 16 cm
Ipswich City Museum & Art Gallery, Ipswich
Millbank Penitentiary was a prison located in Millbank, Westminster, on the site now occupied by Tate Britain. It operated from 1816–1890 and was constructed on the site where Bentham’s proposed panopticon was originally going to be built. Although the panopticon plan was abandoned, the prison that was built demonstrates a centralised plan. However, instead of a guard at the centre, there was a chapel. In this way, the eye of God took the place of the eye of the guard, intending to instill religion into the prisoners and compel them to regulate their behaviour.