Drinks in a cell, dinner in the dock: London court house transformed into justice-themed hotel

by Kim Megson | 09 May 2016

Guests staying at a luxury boutique hotel in London can enjoy a cocktail in the cramped courthouse cells which once held the Kray twins, two of the most notorious gangsters in the city’s history.

The newly-opened Courthouse Hotel in Shoreditch is located in a Grade II-listed building which once housed the Great Marlborough Street Magistrates Court.

The themes of crime, punishment and justice are embedded into the hotel’s design, particularly in the bar. Here, three of the courthouse’s 5ft x 15ft cells have been preserved and transformed into VIP booths. The heavy metal reinforced doors have been maintained and the original cell benches provide a place for up to eight guests to sit and socialise.

Elsewhere in the hotel, iron bars from the prison separate the lobby lounge from the bar, and a restaurant is located in the old Court Room – complete with the original dock, judge's’ bench and witness stand. Another courtroom has become a private member’s club.

The court was established in the late 1700s and was the second oldest of its kind in the UK. The current building was created by police architect J.D. Butler in 1913. Over its lifetime, celebrity defendants at the court included John Lennon, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger and Johnny Rotten. The Kray twins appeared there for their first criminal hearing in 1965 and returned three years later on preliminary murder charges.

The new hotel, which reportedly cost £40m to create, has 128 guest rooms and suites, a private cinema, a rooftop bar, a bowling alley, a fitness centre and a spa.

Courthouse Hotel  London  Shoreditch  Kray twins  architecture  design 
Guests staying at a luxury boutique hotel in London can enjoy a cocktail in the cramped courthouse cells which once held the Kray twins, two of the most notorious gangsters in the city’s history. The newly-opened Courthouse Hotel in Shoreditch is located in a Grade II-listed building which once housed the Great Marlborough Street Magistrates Court. The themes of crime, punishment and justice are embedded into the hotel’s design, particularly
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The newly-opened Courthouse Hotel in Shoreditch is located in a Grade II-listed building which once housed the Great Marlborough Street Magistrates Cour / Courthouse Hotel Shoreditch
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Company profile: Willmott Dixon
Willmott Dixon delivers the social infrastructure that people depend on in their daily lives. We partner with our customers to focus on the services they want to provide, not just the building we construct, and we are committed to achieving a higher social purpose through our work.
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