History of Crumlin Road Gaol

Crumlin Road Gaol is a former prison situated in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The jail itself was designed by Sir Charles Lanyon, and was built between 1843 and 1845. It’s the only Victorian era prison remaining in Northern Ireland and was one of the most advanced prisons of its day. On March 31, 1996 the Crumlin Road jail officially closed. The closure ended a 150-year history of imprisonment, Belfast conflict, and executions.

Built within a five-sided walled site, Crumlin Road Gaol had four wings fanning from a central area known as The Circle. The Grade A listed building is part of the social fabric of the city and the first inmates, who were forced to walk from Carrickfergus Prison in chains, arrived in 1846.

Touring the Gaol 

The gaol has a deep and dark history that entices people to want to find out more about it. Today it now offers an interesting tour full of facts, history, culture and plenty of drama. 17 men have been executed over its 150-year history. During the tour, you will see what prison life was like through the ages as well as the dark secrets that lie within. Definitely something different.

The most interesting thing about visiting this jail is trying to picture the experience of those prisoners who spent most of their lives there. As well as getting the permission to inspect the tunnel linking the courthouse on the other side of the Crumlin Road to the hanging cell, Governor’s office, hospital and graveyard.

On this tour, you can also learn about ‘The Troubles’ and the Northern Ireland Conflict. As many prisoners were heavily involved in Northern Ireland politics. Or even catch a paranormal tour.  Ghosts are reported to linger in the dark tunnel and basement under the jail. Are you brave enough to explore during a ghost tour? Can you stomach some paranormal activity?


The entrance fees for the Crumlin Road prison differ according to your age. Its 9 pounds for adults, 6.50 for children from 5 to 15 years old. It’s also free for those under 5 years old and 25 pound for families. Crumlin Road Gaol has many great events on throughout the year so be sure to check out their website for more.

Check out More Videos of Crumlin Road Jail below:

Crumlin Road Gaol (4K) –

Have you ever has the chance to visit this historic Jail? We would love to hear your experiences:)

Also, don’t forget to check out our other blogs that might interest you such as The Titanic MuseumDead Centre Tours and The History of The Troubles of Belfast, Belfast Peace WallsCity Hall Belfast, A Walking tour of SS Nomadic.

Crumlin Road Gaol Tour - Things to do in Belfast, Northern Ireland - Crumlin Road Prison in Belfast
Crumlin Road Gaol Tour - Things to do in Belfast, Northern Ireland - Crumlin Road Prison in Belfast

Crumlin Road Gaol or jail is one of the oldest jails to be found in Northern Ireland and which is no longer working but has been transformed into a touristic place where people could go and experience the life of the prisoners back in the old times as well as know about the history of the place and the rooms and tunnel related to it.Her Majesty's Prison Belfast (HMP) which is famously known as the Crumlin Road Gaol and which is also referred to as The Crum, has been listed as an A grade building because of its archaeological and historical significance. This 19th century building has one thing that makes it unique and different which is the tunnel that links the courthouse to the hanging cell, the Governor's office, the hospital as well as the graveyard; making it easier for the transport of the prisoners to the courthouse.


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