Berrycombe Road, Bodmin, PL31 2NR
Tel: (01208) 76292
A history of sixty hangings
The former county prison dating back to 1779, and built to the plans of the prison reformer John Howard, now houses an exhibition detailing its history as well as a chance to visit the dungeons and find out some of the crimes and punishments of our unfortunate ancestors. Between 1735 and 1909, there were sixty executions in Bodmin including eight females.
In the late 1850's, a new 220 cell gaol was built. This was excessive for the number of prisoners in Cornwall. In 1887, part of the gaol was transferred to the Royal Navy and H.M. Royal Naval Prison at Bodmin was established. The female gaol was closed in 1911, the male civil prison was not used after 1916 as the prisoners and staff went to war. The Naval Prison closed in 1922, the rest in 1927 and all the buildings were sold in 1929. It was the last County Jail in Cornwall.
This ominous and foreboding stone building was the first jail to hold inmates in individual cells and famously carried out grisly public executions by hanging until 1862.
This mid-Victorian prison was also home to the Crown Jewels, Doomsday book and other national treasures during the Great War.
The building was re-opened in 2004 as a restaurant and museum.
In October 2020 the jail opens its new eight and a half million pound visitor attraction 'The Dark Walk' allowing for a more impressive experience.
The Jolly Hangman Restaurant
0.5 mile west of the town centre and well sign-posted.
Every day 10.00am - 6.00pm
Bodmin Bodmin Town Museum The Camel Trail Bodmin & Wenford Railway
D.C.L.I. Regimental Museum The Courtroom Experience Cardinham Woods