About Hexham Old Gaol

Experience four fascinating floors of the old gaol for yourself

Descend into the dungeon, peer into the gloom and imagine confinement in the dark awaiting trial in the nearby Moothall. Meet the gaoler to learn about the treatment of criminals then put yourself in the prisoners’ shoes and try the stocks for size – if you dare! 


Learn about the laws of the Borders and the powerful March Wardens appointed by the Medieval monarchs to keep order in a lawless land. Trace the Reiver family names and uncover your own connection to the area’s history. Find out about the weaponry and armour, and ponder the ghostly tale of Sir John Fenwick’s skull. Watch as the trauma of life and the ever-present threat of violent family feuds is brought vividly back to life on film, then meet the family recounting tales around the kitchen table.

Dig deeper into the culture of the Borders through the Border Library Collection, dip into the music archive and listen to recordings. 

Enjoy the regular hands-on family activities and visit the temporary exhibitions from Medieval life to local history too. Don’t forget to visit the gift shop before you leave and browse a delightful selection of books, gifts and mementos.  

We also run Medieval Life sessions and Tudor Workshops for educational groups. For more information, please contact Janet Goodridge by phone on 01670 624524.

Hexham Old Gaol has been awarded with a Silver Green Tourism Award. To find out more, click here .

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