What to Expect on a Day out at Bodmin Jail

When you arrive at the jail, you will likely first be in awe at the sheer size of the place. Then you will feel the surprise that most feel on arrival, surprise that the place is actually really rather beautiful considering it’s previous role.

First Impressions of Bodmin Jail

When you first drive through the archway, you will  see a small car park. Don’t panic if this one is full, as you only have to drive straight on and around to the left to find the bigger car park.

The next part is something that confuses some visitors, and is something that is on the list of future improvements that everyone at the jail are very excited about. The confusing comes with knowing where to enter and where to pay for entry to the jail.

If you see the photo above, that beautiful doorway is where you enter, and at the moment you turn right once you enter and go into the bar area. Pop to the bar and someone will sort your entrance to the jail – cards are accepted. If you don’t actually want to go in to the jail, or any members of your party don’t, the bar and restaurant area is very comfortable for whiling away some time enjoying a drink – tea, coffee, something stronger, it’s entirely your choice.

Depending on the time you arrive, you may even want to eat before going in to the jail, or just come for a meal the restaurant is open to non jail visitors as well. There is a nice varied menu with options for everyone – feel free to ring the very friendly staff if you have any queries about the menu or concerns about dietary requirements. At busier times, it may be a good idea to ring and pre-book a table just in case.

TIP: Don’t forget to check the specials board for even more options!

Bar and Restaurant

The jail itself can be very cold, so wrap up warm and sensible shoes are a good idea as there are steep steps. With this in mind unfortunately wheelchairs and pushchairs aren’t able to go into the jail. Working with an old building regrettably, this isn’t something that can be helped. So if you have a baby coming with you, don’t forget the baby carrier or sling!

A member of staff will show you where to go to get in to the jail, there are toilets just beside the entrance as well handily. Once you enter the jail, the yellow line on the floor will get you started on where to go.

Now we won’t spoil it by telling you too much about exactly what you’ll see, but there will obviously be cells to look in, plus stocks to find to put anyone naughty in your party within, mannequins showing you the crimes of people previously sentenced to spend time behind the grand walls of the jail and a wealth of information to read.

The Jail

When you find the stocks, why not take a photo for social media posted with a #BodminJail to show us! IN fact feel free to share any images with us, we may even share some of the best ones on the Bodmin Jail Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

The jail is widely reported to be haunted, if you have a spooky encounter whilst visiting or ever have, then we’d love to hear about it!


Posted: 1st March 2016 By: Stevie

Improvements to Bodmin Jail

Site_works_Bodmin_Jail01Here at the Jail we are constantly maintaining, and striving to improve your experience at this most important set of historic buildings. During the winter months we get to undertake many of our ‘dirty jobs’!

We have unearthed interesting drains, air shafts, and the final room down in the basement level of the main building for you to see. We have also spent a great deal of time improving the exhibits within all areas of the museum.
Corridor2Looking at the 1881 Governors Report, we have put areas back to the way they were in 1880!

In the coming months we will continue to upgrade the exhibition to give you a real feeling of what it was like to spend time behind bars in Bodmin Jail!

Furthermore, now the basement is totally clear for you to view, we are turning our attention to the 6th floor, and will shortly embark on digging out side rooms that assisted with the massive heating and ventilation system. No one has been able to gain full access to for over 60 years to this area – we intend to dig out hundreds of tons of earth and rubble to have it open for you to explore!

After that, well, it is on to the deeper levels of the Naval Wing, a back-filled staircase descending to……well, we just don’t know where!
Improving_the_Manakins01 Improving_the_Manakins02 Manakin_in_situ
Watch this page for further updates on progress here at Bodmin Jail.

Thank you for your continued support.

Posted: 8th May 2015 By: Jonathan Statham

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