Fodor's Expert Review Crumlin Road Gaol

Golden Mile Jail/Prison Fodor's Choice

Designed by Charles Lanyon, and opened in 1846, this jail held more than 500 prisoners at its peak; today it is one of Belfast's hottest tourist tickets. Throughout its 150-year lifetime, around 25,000 convicts passed through its doors. During the worst years of the Troubles, between 1969 and 1996 (when the prison closed), it held some of the North's most notorious prisoners, including many involved in paramilitary violence. The building has undergone a £10 million restoration, and, with its cream-walled corridors and black railings, has been transformed to reflect the way it looked in Victorian days. The engrossing 75-minute tour takes in the holding, punishment, and condemned cells—the latter where the prisoners were held before being taken to the gallows for execution. The highlight is the execution chamber, hidden behind a moving bookcase where the guide explains the gory details of how the long-drop method was used to break the prisoner's neck. Exhibits in the museum include... READ MORE

Designed by Charles Lanyon, and opened in 1846, this jail held more than 500 prisoners at its peak; today it is one of Belfast's hottest tourist tickets. Throughout its 150-year lifetime, around 25,000 convicts passed through its doors. During the worst years of the Troubles, between 1969 and 1996 (when the prison closed), it held some of the North's most notorious prisoners, including many involved in paramilitary violence. The building has undergone a £10 million restoration, and, with its cream-walled corridors and black railings, has been transformed to reflect the way it looked in Victorian days. The engrossing 75-minute tour takes in the holding, punishment, and condemned cells—the latter where the prisoners were held before being taken to the gallows for execution. The highlight is the execution chamber, hidden behind a moving bookcase where the guide explains the gory details of how the long-drop method was used to break the prisoner's neck. Exhibits in the museum include handcuffs, a flogging rack with the birch used for punishment, photographs, and maps. The jail is said to be one of the most haunted buildings in Belfast, and paranormal tours, ghost, and historical evening tours are held occasionally. A British army Wessex helicopter which patrolled the skies during the Troubles has been added to the display. The helicopter was retired from service in 2002 and has been restored. It was given to the museum by the Royal Air Force in 2019. The Crum Café sells daytime snacks, while Cuffs Bar and Grill is open for evening dining.

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Jail/Prison Fodor's Choice Family

Quick Facts

53–55 Crumlin Rd.
Belfast, Co. Down  BT14 6ST, Northern Ireland

028-9074–1500

www.crumlinroadgaol.com

Sight Details:
Rate Includes: £12

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