Out of the many attractions found in County Wicklow, one that is a must visit for all visitors to the area is the Wicklow Gaol. At Wicklow Gaol, the infamous former prison has now been transformed into an impressive tourist museum attraction, where you can uncover two centuries of prison life at this haunted Gaol.
Wicklow Gaol is one of the top attractions along Ireland’s Ancient East, where you learn about its epic, cruel and tragic stories as told by guides as the take you around this historic jail that has played an important part in Irish History.
Explore the Haunted Wicklow Gaol, County Wicklow
History of the Gaol
Do you dare to take a visit to one of the most notoriously haunted buildings in the Worlds? Then keep reading to find out more about Wicklow Gaol.
Construction of this inhumane gaol began in 1702 and it began functioning as a prison even before its completion. Prisoners were kept at the gaol during the 1798 Revolution and the Great Famine and many others before what is known as penal transportation.
The prison was expanded twice, the first time was in 1822 following a design set by Irish architect, William Vitruvius Morrison. The second time the gaol was expanded was between 1842 and 1843, which marks the completion of the construction of the building. The architectural style of the building was Victorian and it consisted of three floors. The reputation of the prison was so notorious, it was called the Gates of Hell!
Despite the closing of the prison in 1900, it was again reopened to detain Republican prisoners during the Irish War of Independence and the Irish Civil War. The last prisoner walked out the doors of the gaol in 1924 and the building was even partially demolished in 1954.
Competing for the list of the world’s most haunted buildings, the prison underwent renovation and restoration works since 1995. The building reopened its doors in 1998 as a museum. The gaol’s history is so bleak, with so much suffering to have taken place inside it, it was featured in an episode of the reality series of Ghost Hunters International in 2009.
At this iconic Irish gaol, you will get to explore its history through a very interactive tour led by actors, who dramatise the events that took place here to make for an unforgettable experience. You will come to learn about the harsh reality many of the Irish prisoners faced while they were housed here.
Also for the first time in over 100 years, visitors can explore the original gaol dungeon offering you a real-life feel of how life was here
The history of the Wicklow Gaol is intertwined with the history of Wicklow Town which makes it a very important place on anyone’s historical itinerary to visit. The attraction offers a great afternoon out in Wicklow where you’ll have fun and learn something new.
Opening Times of Wicklow Gaol
1st February to 31st November:
- Monday: 10:30am – 16:30pm
- Tuesday: 10:30am – 16:30pm
- Wednesday: 10:30am – 16:30pm
- Thursday: 10:30am – 16:30pm
- Friday: 10:30am – 16:30pm
- Saturday: 10:30am – 16:30pm
- Sunday: 10:30am – 16:30pm
1st December to 31st January:
- Monday: 11:00am – 15:30pm
- Tuesday: 11:00am – 15:30pm
- Wednesday: 11:00am – 15:30pm
- Thursday:11:00am – 15:30pm
- Friday: 11:00am – 15:30pm
- Saturday: 11:00am – 15:30pm
- Sunday: 11:00am – 15:30pm
- Adult: €9.50
- Child: €6.50
- Family: €26
- Student/OAP €8.00
Kilmantin Hill, Wiklow Town
Co. Wicklow, Ireland
Let us know if you have ever been to Wicklow Gaol and what you thought of the experience in the comments below!