Legendary London’s court closed

The old court and police station at Bow Street, opened in 1881 opposite the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, has been sold and may become a hotel.

Workman, 63, the 32nd magistrate to preside at Bow Street, says he hopes to take away the dock from Court One. The dock, a padded bench enclosed by iron railings, stands at the center of the wood-paneled room, facing the magistrate and his clerks. The two-seat press box, near the witness stand, has been known to accommodate nine squashed reporters; the public sits in a glass-enclosed pen at the back.

The dock accommodated Oscar Wilde, the suffragettes Christabel and Emmeline Pankhurst, the notorious wife-murderer Hawley Harvey Crippen, the Nazi propagandist William "Lord Haw Haw" Joyce and, more recently, the novelist and perjurer Lord Jeffrey Archer, according  to the AP.

Charles Dickens placed the Artful Dodger in the dock at Bow Street in "Oliver Twist." Penelope Hewitt, Workman's predecessor as chief magistrate, found a Dickensian air was evident into the 21st century.

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