A Wheel and Away

Crumlin Road Gaol

Belfast, Northern Ireland


The Crumlin Road Gaol dates back to 1845 and closed its doors as a working prison after 150 years in service in 1996. The Gaol has re-opened as a visitor attraction after extensive renovations and today you can take a guided tour of the prison.

About the Tour
Discover over 150 years of history and follow in the footsteps of over 25,000 prisoners as you make the journey through Northern Ireland’s only remaining Victorian Era prison. The guided tour will allow you to explore the building’s colourful past and gain a unique and memorable insight into the daily lives and routines of both prisoners and prison officers over the Gaol’s existence. Your tour guide will inform you about the Gaol’s history including when women and children were imprisoned, the executions that were carried out, its more recent history and learn about why the decision was taken to close the prison.

The tour will cover all aspects of the Gaol from the Tunnel linking the courthouse on the other side of the Crumlin Road to the Hanging Cell, the Historic Holding Cells, Centre Circle, C-Wing and Graveyard.

Daily Guided Tours are open to the public and operate between 10am and 4.30pm.  The tour lasts for approximately 75 minutes.

General accessibility information

The gaol is over 170 years old so there are a lot of old buildings and structures.  However, all areas of the gaol are fully accessible with the exception of the tunnel which has 14 steps to get down to it.  The Drop Room/Flogging Cell is also a little tricky as there is limited space to get a wheelchair through the doors.

Disabled toilet facilities

There are four separate accessible toilets throughout the gaol.

Wheelchairs available

There are two manual wheelchairs available for use by visitors, although staff do advise booking these before arriving.

Assistance dogs allowed

Assistance dogs are allowed into the main areas of the gaol.