Old Town Jail Tour

Old Town Jail Tour - Hear about the bloody, bizarre and sometimes baffling tales of the Burgh’s heroes and villains.

Old Town Jail Tour

About Old Town Jail Tour

A little after dawn on 11th November 1847 a pitiful parade of petty thievery was marched from the dank and dismal depths of Stirling’s Tolbooth Gaol – condemned as ‘The Worst Jail in Britain’ only a few years before – across St John Street, and into the New County Jail – better known to modern visitors as the Old Town Jail.

Each prisoner was fed – a rare luxury for those incarcerated in the Tolbooth. Each convict was assigned their own cell, according to William Brebner’s ‘Separate System’, to encourage reflection and repentance, and every effort was made to reform and rehabilitate Stirling’s rogues. A palace compared to the Tolbooth, conditions were grim by modern standards – a strict regime of solitude, labour, coarse food and discomfort. Stirling’s prison until 1888, it served as Scotland’s only Military Detention Barracks until 1935.

Visitors can hear the histories of our places of punishment – and the bloody, bizarre and sometimes baffling tales of the Burgh’s heroes and villains. Learn about the Tolbooth’s notorious ‘Happy Hangman’, Jock Rankin, the ‘Union Martyrs’ Baird and Hardie – hanged and beheaded in 1820 for asking for the right to vote – the murderer Allan Mair, crusading prison reformer Frederick Hill….and many more!

Tickets will be available to buy online soon. They will also be available on the day.

Limited on-street parking is available not far from the jail in Spittal Street, St John’s Street, Broad Street, St Mary’s Wynd, and a little further away in Baker Street and along Upper Castle Hill along the north side of Stirling Castle.

10.15am - 10.45am
10.45am - 11.35am
11.15am - 11.45am
11.45am - 12.15pm
12.15pm - 12.45pm
12.45pm - 1.15pm
1.45pm - 2.15pm
2.15pm - 2.45pm
2.45pm - 3.15pm
3.15pm - 3.45pm
3.45pm - 4.15pm
4.15pm - 4.45pm
4.30pm - 5pm
5.15pm - 5.45pm

While we take every opportunity to ensure the details for Old Town Jail Tour are accurate, we always advise that you contact the event organiser before setting out for the event to avoid disapointment.

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