The building of Hexham Gaol was ordered June 1330 making it the oldest purpose-built prison in England. It held prisoners captured in Hexhamshire - the area ruled over by the Archbishop of York - and his Bailiff and officials ran the Shire on his behalf from the nearby Moothall.
The Gaol was used until the 1820s, when a new county gaol was built at Morpeth. By 1828 most prisoners were held in Morpeth Gaol, and the Hexham House of Correction was used for petty thieves. More recently the building has been used as a bank, solicitors' office, home for the Rifle Volunteers, a Billiards Club, and a place from which to firewatch in the Second World War.
It is now a museum with four floors packed with information which will really bring history to life.
11am - 4.30pm Tuesday - Saturday plus Bank Hols & school summer holiday Mondays, April - end September
11am - 4.30pm Tuesday & Saturday during February & March, October & November
Open other times by appointment and for special events.
Family (up to 5 people) £10.50
Other concessions available. Please ask at reception