The refurbishment of the original listed jail buildings was a high priority throughout the design process.  This was not only to conserve the history and heritage of Bodmin Jail, but also to retain
the character of the fabric. The new 'Dark Walk' building is located on the footprint of the 
former Hospital Wing; a portion of the complex that was regrettably damaged beyond repair.  Care has been taken to reflect the essence of the former building within the new design.

Energy Use

Energy use in the attraction was considered in two very different ways. The 'Dark Walk' building has been designed to exacting high standards, with heat loss mitigation and heat recovery technology at the forefront of the build.  Existing structures have also received Radon Protection, new damp-proof floor membranes, has been insulated where possible; and received new water-tight insulated glazing behind the original cast metal window frames.  Further, walls throughout the whole structure have received tens of thousands of gallons of grout internally, to ensure their stability and extend life expectancy.

Smart technology floor heating within the Naval Wing will also ensure that it remains at a constant temperature throughout winter, thereby preserving its structure free of condensation.

When required, chimneys have been taken down and re-built, roofs rebuilt and re-covered, every inch of rotten wood taken out and replaced, gutters and downpipes replaced, every drain replaced.

Lastly the buildings have received new wiring, fire alarms, plumbing and heating throughout.  These buildings will now outlive us all!


The area around Bodmin Jail is home to nine species of bats, all needing careful consideration during the design process and construction works. Working closely with Natural England and a dedicated on-site ecologist has ensured preservation and support for the bats in the area. Works have proceeded carefully on site by timing demolition works to be compatible with the bats’ hibernation and seasonal cycles.

To ensure habitats were boosted, a bespoke bat bungalow was constructed near the jail, along with incidental roosting areas incorporated into the walls of the building. The attic space of a nearby building was opened up to provide another roost, and the existing maternity roost of Horseshoe bats on site is still going strong!

Key Players in the Development

Twelve Architects and Masterplanners: Lead Consultant, Architects and Masterplanners

Arup: Landscape, Transport, Air Quality, Ecology, Geotechnical/Geoenvironmental Engineering, Structural, Mechanical, Electrical and Public Health (SMEP) Building Engineering

Astute Fire: Fire Engineering

Montagu Evans: Planning & Heritage Consultants

Total Project Integration: Cost Management, Project Management

Sarner International: Attraction Consultants

C Field Construction Ltd: Main Contractor