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Address: York, ME
Phone Number:
+1 207-363-4974

America's first prison, built in 1719.

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A national treasure

Construction of the stone dungeon began in 1719 and was subsequently extended at various times. Thanks to the foresight of residents, it was saved from demolition and opened as a... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 20 August 2016
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19 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 18: English reviews
Level Contributor
837 reviews
505 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 327 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 August 2016

Construction of the stone dungeon began in 1719 and was subsequently extended at various times. Thanks to the foresight of residents, it was saved from demolition and opened as a museum in 1900. It is fascinating to see the cells, old courtroom and gaoler's parlour. There is an information leaflet that takes you around the building, and there are facts... More 

Thank mouseHerts
Pittsburgh, Pa
Level Contributor
250 reviews
119 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 August 2016

We toured the old Gaol following the Emerson Wilcox house and Jeff was our guide. He was full of interesting facts about the old gaol as well as York. It was a self-guided tour. It was amazing the difference in the bottom cells where criminals were and the upper floors where people were only held for owing debts. The bottom... More 

1 Thank deebug2470
Colorado Springs
Level Contributor
763 reviews
381 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 215 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 August 2016

Pretty cool old building--supposed to have been the first jail in the area--but fascinating history and fun to visit. The dungeon is about 300 years old--not much in the US is that old so cool to visit.

Thank MaryKop
Biddeford, ME
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 September 2015

Not knowing much about jails in general, I went in because the outside gallows intrigued me. I had read this was the first jail constructed in the U.S. at the request of the Crown. The $5 entrance fee was well spent for me since I am fascinated by the evolution of Colonial America. The for the most part self-guided tour... More 

2 Thank Janet8353
Portland, Maine
Level Contributor
228 reviews
124 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 August 2015

what a great old building to explore, with other historic homes nearby. The jail is open to walk through and is located by historic homes and graveyard. There is a small fee but includes the other buildings to see.

1 Thank scott a
York, Maine
Level Contributor
30 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 February 2015

Kids loved having their picture taken while they we "in the stocks". Good history lesson for elementary school kids.

Thank mollycat14
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
226 reviews
82 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 275 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 October 2014

The Old Gaol is a self-guided tour. There was a guide there who stayed outside while we toured. There are plaques that you have to read that give the history of the gaol. The jailer, his wife and children lived on the premises with the prisoners. See how the wealthy prisoners were able to bring their bed and furnishings to... More 

4 Thank bainso
York, Maine
Level Contributor
16 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 September 2014

I've been a interpreter for the Museums of Old York for many years. The Old Gaol is a wonderful place to begin your tour of the first origins of Maine. It is the oldest British public building in the U.S. and the "stone dungeon" dates from 1719. Come see how peoples of the past were punished and compare it to... More 

6 Thank beachgirlybm
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Level Contributor
29 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 October 2013

A very old gaol with a lot of authentic articles in the rooms. Can be disconcerting if you're sensitive to feelings of those who have gone before you and were in unpleasant circumstances.

2 Thank Christina G
Tucson, Arizona
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 September 2013

Very cool look into the 17th and18th century....as with all the York Museums, great guides both friendly and knowledgeable.

1 Thank Wendy W

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