“ Castlegate / Jedburgh / TD8 6QD „
Another of the places we visited when we were recently in Jedburgh. Because all of the attractions seem to be quite close to each other, its worth seeing them all.
LOCATION AND CONTACT...
Address: Castlegate, Jedburgh. TD8 6QD
Tel: 01835 864750
As with most of the attractions in Jedburgh we found this was well signposted and easy to find. Quite a long walk up a fairly steep bank, but once we spotted the jail at the top of the bank it was clear that this was the place we wanted to be. Its actually only about a ten minute walk from Jedburgh Abbey, so not worth the drive and extra time finding somewhere to park.
The jail is on the original site of Jedburgh castle, and this 19th century jail is the only remaining example left in Scotland of a Howard Reform prison. The Jail was built in 1820 and was designed by Archibald Elliot, who was one of the most fashionable architects of the day.
Jedburgh jail is free to visit and is accessed through high metal gates which gives one a sense of what it might have been like to enter the prison almost 200 years ago. The shop is at the front of the jail where visitors are given a visitors badge and the option to buy a children's quiz costing £1 and/or audio tour. The actual work booklet is quite tricky and we left it till later because we felt we were spending our time looking for specifics rather than taking in the whole.
The jail is set our in several buildings and visitors can also access the outdoor areas which were actually the exercise and recreation areas. Still with very high walls and probably very difficult to escape!
The actual cells were in two blocks with an additional block being closed due to maintenance. Each cell was accessible and inside were set out as they would have been although clearly a lot cleaner. The cells had large display boards with explanations of the types of people who would be inside the cells and examples of people in the cells with their crimes. There were also full size life like models inside some of the cells which was quite a shock when we pushed open the door and saw someone there. The whole place is very creepy and gloomy made more so because in some of the corridors we were the only people walking along and the doors were very heavy!
Easter - 31 October
Monday to Saturday: 10.00am - 4.30pm
Sunday: 1.00pm - 4.00pm
Admission is free, although audio explanations and work books have to bought. However, given that many places have a charge I wasn't going to grumble.
Certainly worth a visit if in the area. The cells are quite scary but some would say I have an over active imagination!
The whole place is well set out with lots of interactive displays including dressing up clothes for children, and there are plenty of things visitors can touch along with explanations for their use.
Its an imposing building and a pleasant walk to the jail although slightly uphill. However, a visit to the attraction is recommended if in the area.
Thanks for reading