The Tyburn Tree

As a spectacle to be held this is the least interesting.

As a subject for Dark Tourism in London? This is one of the most morbid.

This very unassuming plaque lies on a traffic island and hundreds of thousands pass by with out a second thought.

Located merely metres from Marble arch at the corner of Baywsater road and the A5 Edgeware Road this is the original spot of the Tyburn Tree.

The Tyburn Gallows was the site of over 50,000 deaths in the six centuries it operated until the last customer on 7th November 1783 when John Austin who had been convicted of Highway Robbery was hanged until dead. The famous Triple Tree stood at this point between 1571 and 1759 and was simple in design but immensly effective. Sturdy beams forming a hollow triangle stood aloft on 3 pillars between 12 and 18 feet high giving enough support and room to carry out multiple hangings. The record for mostt simultaneous hangings was 24 consisting of 23 men and 1 woman on 23rd June 1649.

“Hangman John Price met an untimely end on the gallows he worked at on 31st May 1718”

Those unfortunates that were sentenced to death at the Old Bailey were heald at Newgate Prison for anything from 2 weeks to 4 months before being paraded through the streets of London in a cart or rough sled. Before leaveing the prison the convicted would have their hands and elbows tied to their sides to prevent preying at the gallows then the rope was tied around their neck in preperation of the future proceedings. It was common not to use the typical hangmans noose as people would believe but instead a simple knot that the prison guards could tie. En route to the Kings Gallows the prisoners would stop at two public houses for alcohol on their final trip.

When arriving at Tyburn the condemned would be greated by spectators in their thousands with the wealthy hiring chairs whilst the peasants and poor stood. Those that were convicted of murder after 1752 were anatomised at Surgeons Hall a real insult to the deceased at the time. People back then were very superstious and feared having an incomplete body would not allow a person entry to heaven. More severe punishments included being hanged drawn and quartered which was carried out on the spot in front of the crowds of on lookers. After being hanged until almost dead, they were cut down and hand their intestines and organ removed from their body whilst alive, then the body was be cut in to peices sometimes still alive depending on the person.

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