Hexham Old Gaol

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The Old Gaol is the earliest documented purpose-built prison in England. It was built by order of the Archbishop of York 1330-33. It held prisoners from Hexhamshire, and in the C16th from the English Middle March, before their trial in the nearby Moothall Court Room.
The museum displays introduce visitors to the life and times of the Border Reivers.

Venue Type:

Museum, Heritage site

Opening hours

April - end September open Tuesdays to Saturdays, 11am - 4.30pm, last admissions 4pm

February, March, October, November open Tuesdays AND Saturdays only, 11am - 4.30pm, last admissions 4pm.

Also open for Christmas Market.

Open other times by arrangement, please phone for details.

Admission charges

Adults £3.95, OAPs £3.50, children/schools £2.50, family £12.00
Gift Aid your ticket to convert to a one year season ticket giving free admission for the rest of the year.


  • Museums Association
  • International Council of Museums
  • English Heritage
  • British Association of Friends of Museums

Additional info

Outreach and education services are available within the Northumberland. Please contact staff for details.

Arms and armour from the C15th and C16th
Items of local history (Tynedale) interest, photographs, documents and objects
Border Library holds the Butler Collection, books, tapes and manuscript music relating to the culture of the Borders

Collection details

Archaeology, Archives, Costume and Textiles, Law and Order, Music, Photography, Social History, Weapons and War

Key artists and exhibits

  • The Gaol itself is the most important artefact.

Hexham Old Gaol
Old Gaol
NE46 1XD




educational resources



Email for enquiries


Museums Officer, service head



Phone for enquiries

01670 624523

direct to museum service staff

01434 652351

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.