We visited the Gaol yesterday. 6 Sept 11. What a wonderful building and such friendly helpful staff. The exhibitions, films and information give an excellent insight into how lawless this area was. (Hence the requirement for such a gaol)
A previous review mentioned the lack of 'anything' in the dungeon. I feel they were a bit rash. We were inches from it within the lift. It didn't take me long to realise that it would have been hell to be in a cold, damp, dark cell with not much hope in ever being released.
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay. For any other visitors, enjoy the building and think back to the lawless days mentioned. Another day for any visitor is to visit Black Middens Bastle to get a feel how remote these people lived.
Thanks to all. Steve Webb & Family. Kielder. Northumberland
Built in 1311 it was one of the first buildings that was built to be a proper jail. you can get stuck in the stocks outside or go down to the dungeon though not for long.
There is a commentary from people who used to live in the times of the border reviers which comes on autmotically and lots of info about the jail break here in the 1600 and the lives of the prisoners It also has the border libary and a film on a riever raid, you are much better going to one of the bastles or towers on the borders to get a fee of what it would be like in riever times it has a nice little shop in it a intersting place to learn more about the history of Hexham but it is very hard to imagine being imprisoned here
The only eerie thing is the skull of Sir john fenwick a jacobite who was beheaded for treason
We phoned prior to visiting as the website said they were closed, the lady who answered was very helpful and said they were open and it was a website error. We arrived and found it was in hexham town, there is a car park down the bottom which you have to pay for which is near Waitrose. When we got there, the receptionist was very helpful and there was another woman who took us and another couple to a room and gave us a talk about tudor times, which was very interesting. After that was finished we had a look around reading information and having a look at where the people were kept which was at the bottom with no light, no water. Couldn't help feeling sorry for them. Anyway the whole visit lasted an hour and a half but it gave a good insite into history and I would recommend it!
Situated in the historic and realy pretty town of Hexham,the Old Gaol is a very real and interesting historical place to visit.The building despite being extremely old is intact and inside there is quite a lot of information on the history of the times and the people involved.Nice little coffee and gift shop also.
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