Bentham Project


Other Panopticons

The name panopticon was used for buildings other than prisons:

The Royal Panopticon of Science and Art

The Royal Panopticon of Science and Art, had a short and unsuccessful lifespan. The Royal Panopticon was intended to serve as an institute for scientific exhibitions and for promoting discoveries in the arts and manufacturing. When built on the east side of Leicester Square in the early 1850s, the Panopticon had a frontage of 104 feet with a Moorish style out of character with the neighbourhood. The facility was opened in 1854, had limited financial success, and was sold in 1857 for conversion to the Alhambra Music Hall.[Source] For a shilling visitors could listen to scientific lectures, receive electric shocks, or gaze at the illuminated fountain which rose as high as the roof.