Hexham Old Gaol

Hexham Old Gaol
Hall Gate, Hexham, Northumberland
NE46 1XD
01670 624523
Region or country
England (North East)

Hexham Old Gaol explores crime and punishment from 1333 to Victorian times, and tells the story of the infamous Border Reivers. Opened in 1333, Hexham Old Gaol is the oldest purpose-built prison in England.  The Old Gaol was used until the 1820s when it became a bank and solicitors’ office.  Hexham was built for the prisoners of the Archbishop of York, who ruled over the local area then known as ‘Hexhamshire’. The Church did not agree with the death penalty, so after their trial, guilty prisoners would be fined or punished in Hexham Market Place. Many Border Reivers were locked up here during Tudor times.  They came from the local families on both sides of the English-Scottish Border. In 1761 the violence of the Hexham Riot in the Market Place, with more than 50 dying, led to many people being locked up in the Gaol.

Hexham Old Gaol is a Grade 1 listed building with a glass lift that allows visitors to explore all four floors of the Gaol.

What can be found at the venue?
Historic building or site
Does the venue have an online collections catalogue?
Details of opening for public access and / or research services
The site is currently closed
Accessibility and disability arrangements / Covid requirements
Located in Hexham town centre, the Old Gaol is a fully accessible site. Access Plans for each of our museums can be downloaded from this website (you can find them on the Accessibility page), but please contact us if there’s anything we can do to support your access requirements at Hexham Old Gaol.
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