Bodmin Jail

Bodmin Jail
Bodmin Jail, Berrycoombe Road, Bodmin, Cornwall
PL31 2NR
01208 76292
Region or country
England (South West)

The prison was built between 1856 and 1861 on the site of an earlier prison. The new 220 cell ‘total institution’ had separate wings for men and women, a chapel, a debtor’s jail and was built to exacting standards as laid out by the reformers. As the needs and interests of society as a whole changed, the prison’s inmate population shifted over the years. It was used largely as a debtor’s prison for many years, but this all changed in 1869, when imprisonment for debt was abolished. From 1887 parts of the jail were used by the Royal Navy, whose occupation lasted until 1922.

In 2015 work began to open a heritage attraction: the Grade II listed original jail building was derelict in many places. Now, in addition to the immersive and state-of-the-art visitor attraction, the site has a hotel within the listed building, retaining many of the original features of the jail.

What can be found at the venue?
Historic building or site
Significant collections relating to regional crime and punishment organisation or to a particular individual
Display of the Administration Block and the Governor's Office, reflecting the people who served, worked and lived at Bodmin Jail; the only fully working Victorian Hanging Pit in the UK.
Does the venue have an online collections catalogue?
Details of opening for public access and / or research services
The museum is open everyday from 09.30 to 18.30 with last entry at 16.30.
Entrance fee: Guided tours from £20 for adults; self-guided visits from £12.50 for adults.
Available services or facilities
Cafe, Shop, Toilets
Accessibility and disability arrangements / Covid requirements
Car parking nearby.
See for accessibility details.
Date information added or updated:
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