Crumlin Road Gaol
What was once home to some of Ireland’s most notorious criminals is now open to the public. Take a tour of Crumlin Road Gaol and learn about the dark stories of its inmates. See the gallows where murderers were executed and go ghost hunting for those who never made it out.
What was once Belfast’s main prison has seen over 25,000 men, women and children pass through its doors over the course of its 151-year history. In that time, 17 prisoners were executed, with 15 of the deceased buried in unmarked graves inside the prison grounds.
The prison finally closed its doors in 1996, and underwent extensive renovations at the end of 2012. The jail has been developed to look the way it did at the turn of the 19th century, and is now one of Belfast’s most popular tourist attractions.
Join one of the guided tours in order to get a better understanding of the history of this famous jail. Delve deeper into the dark pasts of the killers who were imprisoned here, and learn about the lives of the prison guards who worked here.
The tour covers all sections of the jail, including the prison hospital, complete with padded cell, the Governor’s Office and the underground tunnel that leads to the old courthouse.
Visit the Condemned Man area to see the original noose that was used for hangings, and the drop cell where the executed were left to hang until guards were certain that they were dead. Have a look at the wall near the prisoners’ graves which is marked with the initials of the executed prisoners.
Rumour has it that the ghosts of the dead prisoners continue to haunt the premises. If you’re feeling brave, you can join a paranormal activity chase at night. It’s serious stuff and strictly for adults only!
The Crumlin Road Gaol is centrally located and easy to get to by bus or on foot. If you’re driving, you can park your car free of charge. The prison is open every day, and is wheelchair accessible in most places. Tours take place every day and last for about an hour. It’s worth booking ahead to ensure that you get a place.