Originally commissioned in the 12th century by Henry II, Newgate Prison was initially built into a gate on the old Roman wall - hence the name Newgate. Over its history, it was rebuilt numerous times. A new prison at Newgate was begun in 1770, but before it could be finished, the building was badly damaged by fire during the Gordon Riots of 1780, and it was not completed until 1785.
Jailors could sell an accommodation called easement of irons; for a fee the leg irons could be removed and extra food, bedding, alcohol, water, and even conjugal visits could be had for a fee. It was notorious as a filthy, overcrowded, and corrupt institution.
The site for London’s public gallows then moved from Tyburn to Newgate Prison during this last incarnation.