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Crumlin Road Gaol

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Location: Belfast

Postcode: BT14 6ST

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Visit Crumlin Road Gaol

Step back in time and explore the dark history of Belfast at Crumlin Road Gaol - a must-visit attraction for history buffs and adventure seekers alike.

Visitor Information: Crumlin Road Gaol

  • Crumlin Road Gaol

    Crumlin Road Gaol, located in Belfast, Northern Ireland, is a must-visit attraction for anyone interested in the city’s fascinating history. Once a working prison, it now serves as a museum and tourist attraction, offering visitors a glimpse into the darker side of Belfast’s past.

    Here’s what you can expect from a visit to Crumlin Road Gaol:

    The History: Crumlin Road Gaol opened in 1845 and operated for over 150 years, housing some of the most notorious criminals in Northern Ireland. During the Troubles, it was also used to detain paramilitary prisoners from both sides of the conflict.

    Today, visitors can explore the prison and learn about its history through a range of exhibits, displays, and interactive experiences. Highlights include:

    The C Wing: This section of the prison has been preserved to give visitors a sense of what life was like for prisoners in the early 20th century. With original cells, furniture, and equipment, it’s a sobering reminder of the harsh conditions that inmates endured.

    The Execution Cell: Crumlin Road Gaol was the site of 17 executions between 1854 and 1961. The Execution Cell has been preserved as it was at the time of the last execution, offering visitors a chilling insight into the final moments of those who were put to death.

    The Tunnel: One of the most unique features of Crumlin Road Gaol is the underground tunnel that connects the prison to the courthouse across the street. Visitors can take a guided tour of the tunnel, which was used to transport prisoners to and from court.

    The Tours: Crumlin Road Gaol offers a range of guided tours that are designed to give visitors an in-depth look at the prison’s history and operations. Some of the tours you can expect to see include:

    The Guided Tour: This tour takes visitors through the main areas of the prison, including the C Wing, the Execution Cell, and the tunnel.

    The Paranormal Tour: For those who are interested in the supernatural, the Paranormal Tour offers a chance to explore the prison after dark and learn about its rumoured hauntings and ghostly apparitions.

    The Crumlin Road Gaol Experience: This tour combines elements of both the Guided Tour and the Paranormal Tour, offering a comprehensive look at the prison’s history and its more eerie aspects.

    The Experience: One of the things that makes Crumlin Road Gaol such a unique attraction is the way it allows visitors to step back in time and experience what life was like in the prison. With its preserved cells, original equipment, and haunting architecture, it’s a sobering reminder of Belfast’s troubled past.

    In addition to the exhibits and tours, Crumlin Road Gaol also hosts a range of events and activities throughout the year, including music performances, theatre productions, and historical re-enactments.

    Tips for Visiting: If you’re planning a visit to Crumlin Road Gaol, here are a few tips to help you make the most of your experience:

    Book in advance: Tours can fill up quickly, especially during peak tourist season, so it’s a good idea to book your tickets in advance.

    Wear comfortable shoes: The prison is spread out over several floors and can involve a lot of walking, so make sure you wear comfortable shoes.

    Take your time: With so much to see and learn about, it’s easy to spend several hours at Crumlin Road Gaol. Take your time and explore the exhibits and displays at your own pace.

    In summary, a visit to Crumlin Road Gaol is a fascinating and educational experience that’s not to be missed. Whether you’re interested

  • Highlights
    Not to be missed when visiting

    C-Wing: This is the primary cell block you can visit. It provides an interesting perspective on the living conditions for prisoners throughout the history of the prison.

    Tunnel to the Courthouse: There is a tunnel that was used to transport prisoners from the gaol to the courthouse across the street. Walking through the tunnel is an intriguing part of the tour.

    Execution Room: A somewhat grim feature of the tour is the execution cell where the 17 men were executed over the history of the prison. The room is preserved with a replica of the original noose.

    Condemned Man’s Cell: You can visit the room where prisoners sentenced to death spent their final days.

    Prisoner Graffiti: In various places around the prison, you can find graffiti left by prisoners, which adds a personal touch to the historical site.

    Governor’s Office: This was the operational hub of the prison where all the administrative work was done.

    Hospital Wing: The gaol had a hospital facility for prisoners, which you can also visit.

    Paranormal Tours: If you’re interested in the supernatural, the gaol offers evening ghost tours. There are many stories of hauntings and unexplained occurrences in the old building.

    Learning about the History: Throughout the tour, you will learn about the prison’s history, including its role during The Troubles, a period of conflict in Northern Ireland during the late 20th century. You will also hear stories about famous prisoners, prison escapes, and day-to-day life in the gaol.

    The Crumlin Road Gaol Visitor Centre & Gift Shop: At the end of your tour, you can check out the gift shop for souvenirs and visit the visitor centre for additional information.


  • Is it necessary to book tickets in advance for the Gaol visit? How can I do so?

    It is recommended to book tickets in advance, particularly during peak tourist seasons, to ensure availability. Tickets can be booked online here or via the official Crumlin Road Gaol website.

  • How much time should I plan to spend at Crumlin Road Gaol?

    A typical visit to Crumlin Road Gaol lasts about 1.5 to 2 hours. This includes a guided tour and some time to explore on your own.

  • Is Crumlin Road Gaol accessible to visitors with disabilities?

    Yes, the Gaol is accessible for visitors with disabilities. However, due to the historical nature of the building, there may be some areas that are not fully accessible. It is recommended to contact the Gaol in advance to discuss specific needs.

  • Are there food and drink facilities available on site?

    Yes, there is a café at the Gaol, the Yard café & gift shop, that serves a variety of food and drink options.

    You can also dine at Cuffs Bar & Grill. Check out the menu and book your table here

  • Are there guided tours available at the Gaol? What do they cover?

    Yes, guided tours are available and they cover the history of the Gaol, visits to C-Wing, tunnel to the courthouse, execution cell, condemned man’s cell, hospital wing, and governor’s office. You will also hear stories about famous prisoners and prison escapes.

  • Are paranormal tours available at Crumlin Road Gaol?

    Yes, paranormal tours are available and typically run during the evening hours. These tours cover the Gaol’s reported hauntings and unexplained occurrences.

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