An all-weather spooky and fascinating experience!

Located just a stones throw from the Camel Trail, Bodmin Jail is a unique tourist attraction offering a real and engaging insight into Cornish penal life over the centuries.  Recently featured in BBC’s Poldark drama.

Originally built in 1779, and bought by its current owners in 2004, the jail (or gaol in Cornish) has been transformed from its decaying state and brought back to life – displaying a mirror image of the past by re-creating cell life using manikins and original fixtures.



A self-guided tour takes you across the six floors and down to the dank, dark basement cells with a different story around each corner: the man who was hung for killing a mare or the man who was whipped and given three months hard labour for stealing a hen.  These are perhaps the lighter stories, whilst the more sinister stories involve child prisoners, force-feeding and a double hanging worth an audience of 20-25,000!  It’s estimated one in four prisoners died inside Bodmin “Gaol”.  Read some tails from the jail here:



Bodmin Jail is a truly memorable day out!  £8.50 adult entry, a restaurant serving meals and a licensed bar.  It’s also great to combine this attraction with cycling the Camel Trail or other activities as you can make the most of this destination in just a couple of hours.  Click here for a brilliant video “Cycling the Camel Trail to the Bodmin Gaol in Cornwall”.

It might not be for everyone but this really is a one-off authentic experience – both historically and socially it was fascinating.

For more ideas on things to do on your visit to Cornwall, please check out our Things to Do page.

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