Shepton Mallet Prison
Shepton Mallet Prison
5
Escape GamesHistoric SitesPoints of Interest & Landmarks
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Shepton Mallet Prison is a World Class tourism experience that inspires people, educating, engaging and immersing visitors through a journey behind bars. Our mission is to preserve, protect and promote the history and heritage of Shepton Mallet Prison, by shining a light on prison life from the Jacobean era to the modern day. Visitors are given a unique and immersive prison experience combined with first class customer service. Shepton Mallet Prison was built in 1625 and closed in 2013, making it the countries oldest prison. with over 400 years of history behind its high walls, Shepton Mallet Prison is a must-see heritage site.
Duration: 2-3 hours
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  • Tictac
    1 contribution
    Interesting but could be better
    Very interesting place, beautiful building from outside. Could do more with looking after that place, very wet and mouldy rooms. Would make the place more interesting by showing how the rooms were used ( mannequins and furniture), rather then empty rooms and only sign on the door. Audio headphones with guide would be ideal. We recently visited Peterhead prison and we were so impressed. The prison has got potential, but need to be more looked after
    Dear tictac1977 Thank you for taking the time to review your visit to Shepton Mallet Prison. We have several interpretations spaces that display the essence of prison life from 1625 to 2013, including security, transportation, life in a Victorian Prison and a modern dressed cell on B Wing. I hope you enjoyed them all. We are constantly developing new ideas to improve our customer experience and hope that one day you will revisit. Thank you again for your review.
    Written 22 February 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited February 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 17 February 2023
  • Amy B
    2 contributions
    More signage
    The staff were very friendly and overall the facilities were clean & tidy. It would be improved with more information signage throughout & more things like mannequins or articles/furniture. Some rooms have had that extra effort added & as a result look great, others, well the treadmill room was just a long, empty room with a handful of information boards. Perhaps even just a picture of what it would have looked like. Our 9yo was given a quiz sheet to complete as we went round, which was great, a good mix of questions & well pitched for the age range, but it would have been helpful to supply a clipboard which gets handed back in as other places do. Other than the cellfie spots & the quiz, there wasn't much else in terms of interaction activities for children. And the information boards, while good, were all quite adult in their language. There were some words we had to explain to our 9yo, for example. Maybe have some with simpler English so more people can access it. We did a self guided tour which was fab as we could walk at our own pace & go back & forth as much as we wanted. Perhaps the guided tours fill in the gaps more. The map we were given didn't seem to cover all the areas we were able to access, which would have been helpful as additional information. Overall, it was enjoyable & interesting, but we felt there could have been much more added to make it a really great day out. Signage for parking & the prison itself could be improved. We only found the entrance because we drove past it while searching for parking, but there seemed to be very little indicating where the prison entrance is.
    Dear amyO993PQ Thank you for taking the time to review your experience at Shepton Mallet Prison. All feedback given is gratefully received to help us grow and learn as a business. As I am sure you can understand, a building with over 200 rooms is a challenge to fill, particularly when the Home Office left the building with nothing. We strive to create new interpretation spaces and add improved signage and your comments have been taken on board. We do hope you spent time looking at the interpretation spaces, including the recently added Transportation room and the display in Security. We hope to have captured the essence of the 400 years of history. We are also working on additional activities and interaction for children to enjoy. Thank you again for taking the time to review your experience, and I hope that we will have the pleasure of welcoming you back in the future.
    Written 22 February 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited February 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 19 February 2023
  • timstone2015
    Cleobury Mortimer, United Kingdom3 contributions
    A%20good%20experience%20but%20needs%20some%20improvement
    Good on authenticity and very cleverly put together but the briefing was not good because of poor acoustics meaning some key details were not heard clearly. Please could the basic briefing be also written down and available in the cells. We booked the Easter special experience but there was no difference to normal from what we could tell.
    Visited April 2023
    Written 6 April 2023
  • Martin H
    Ferndown, United Kingdom472 contributions
    Excellent Day Out
    Visited the prison on the 26th August having seen it advertise locally. So glad we did as it is a great day out. We had the 10:30 tour and it lasted about 1 hr 30 mins and the went around again to look at other areas and things we had not seen. The guided tour I would highly recommend. The guide was interesting and knowledgeable bringing the history of the prison alive from the 17th century right up to its closure in 2012. Suitable for all ages and interests, from historians to ghost hunters. You can do a self-guided tour as there are lots of information boards but you will miss out a lot of the smaller more interesting stories and details. At the time of writing there is a special offer on for the whole of August with 50% off if you use the code SUMMER50
    Hi Martin, Thank you for taking the time to leave a review after your recent visit to the prison for a Guided Tour. Your guide from the day will be pleased to hear your kind feedback, as we all are.
    Written 1 August 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited July 2023
    Written 29 July 2023
  • Sami T
    3 contributions
    Not worth the money and not the experience that it was sold to be! :(
    Really disappointed by the overnight stay. A lot of it was blocked off due to Netflix filming. There were way too many people there so ghost hunting was not possible. The "bar" that was advertised with someone behind the desk selling cans for £4.50 each. No breakfast as advertised either.
    HI Samig211 Thank you for taking the time to review your visit to Shepton Mallet Prison. I appreciate you sending an email which we have also responded by. All feedback is taken very seriously to help us review and improve and an investigation has taken place following your disappointment. There was just three rooms locked off by the filming and any other areas are locked for health and safety reasons. This does constitute to less than 5% of the old buildings being closed. Numbers are restricted to 75 guests, to put this into perspective, the prison held approximately 200 inmates plus staff. The event is not specifically designed as a ghost hunting event, although we appreciate that some of our guests chose to do this through the evening. We offer table service for drinks, as our bar has a small counter and therefore is not suitable to stand at. Our drink prices for an event are carefully benchmarked against local businesses and we offer highly competitive prices for our selection of drinks. Breakfast is a selection of cereal bars, porridge, tea and coffee, available as self-service from the visitor centre for all guests. I am sorry you missed out on these. Thank you again for your feedback.
    Written 25 August 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 21 August 2023
  • mrsbrown412
    Bath, United Kingdom58 contributions
    Ghost Tour
    Back again, this time for the ghost tour. Unfortunately not to the fault of the Shepton Mallet prison tour guide our experience here was not the best. It was let down by some very inconsiderate disrespectful drunks which booked on the same tour. These six individuals used this tour as a children halloween event, sitting on the floor heaving, making disrespect sounds, talking when our tour guide was talking to the group, they were extremely loud and had no respect for others. This ghost tour has amazing potential. The tour is not like the usual ghost tours with the pretend ghosty stories and the fake ghost sets all to try to make you believe it’s haunted. No, the tour is real, with real history in a real historic building. With the right group or the right people I can imagine this would be a fantastic experience. Reflecting back taking the drunks off the centre of the attention. Whilst we were walking around, the drunks went a different direction and the place went quieter my husband and my friend noticed a figure in front, and turned to me and said what are they up to now, referring to the drunks, I replied at the time and thought nothing of it, there is no one in front of me, the drunks are downstairs, not in front of us. My husband and my friend are Adamant, there was a figure in front of us. Regrettably I saw nothing, I feel that the six individuals ruined the experience not just for our small group, but the other couples, which also booked on to the tour. They certainly stressed me out with their behaviour, their rudeness and there extremely loud noises, even after the tour ended they continued with a silly behaviour, one of the six individuals decided to lay in the middle of the road, so no one could leave the car park!! I would love to do this ghost tour experience again without the drunks, although you cannot guarantee after you pay your money you will have the right people in your group, The group is fairly large. Also unfortunately these individuals have made me reconsider on doing the night behind bars, Which I was looking forward to book on too, I don’t want to run the risk of having the experience ruined again by the wrong kind of people.
    I hope this message finds you well. First and foremost, I want to extend my sincere apologies for the inconvenience and disappointment you experienced during your recent tour with us. Your feedback regarding the disruptive behaviour of fellow tour participants is deeply concerning. Please know that ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable experience for all our guests is of utmost importance to us, and we regret that this was not your experience. We take such matters seriously and will be conducting a thorough review of the incident to prevent similar occurrences in the future. Please rest assured that we are addressing this matter with our team and guides to implement more effective measures to maintain a peaceful and enjoyable environment for all our guests.
    Written 2 November 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 31 October 2023
  • Bronte A
    Bath, United Kingdom45 contributions
    Self-Guided Tour Visit Nov 23
    Umm…we did a self guided tour which cost a decent amount for 4 of us, I feel rude saying it however it just in our opinion is really not worth the money we paid. The staff at the entrance were friendly and helped show us the map of where to initially begin, however I have to say walking around the very damp, cold, eery prison was just not what I expected - perhaps it would be better with a guided tour so you can understand more but it just felt extremely overrated for what we paid, although, it is quite interesting and we did spend a few hours there it seemed very repetitive and the place I’m afraid are actually not very well signposted at all, I feel we may have missed stuff and the information in some areas is quite bland therefore a lot of the stuff we actually hadn’t a clue what it was. I understand local interests like this need the funding to continue being open to public, and for the people who enjoy it I’m sure they would find it rather fascinating, it definitely has a story to tell - which is probably better told by a guide, then trying to figure it out yourself. Although it isn’t somewhere we would visit again, if you are thinking of going I would definitely recommend a guided tour so you understand more and get more of a story behind the history and more understanding to everything. Lots of long heavy walking, with huge steps as expected so no good for disabled access or those who struggle with ability/movement.
    Dear brontebean0781 Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts about your recent visit to our establishment on TripAdvisor. Your feedback is invaluable to us, and we appreciate the opportunity to address your concerns. We're sorry to hear that you found our prices higher than expected. We understand the importance of offering a great value to our guests, and we continually review our pricing to ensure it aligns with the quality of experience we aim to provide. Rest assured, your comments will be taken into consideration during our ongoing assessments. Our goal is to provide a memorable and immersive experience for all our visitors and we apologise if we fell short of delivering your expectation. In light of your comment, we are actively exploring options to enhance the visitor experience and the guided tour can often provide valuable context and insights that contribute to a more fulfilling visit. We understand the importance of providing clear directions to ensure a seamless experience for our guests, and we sincerely regret if our guide map fell short of expectations during your visit. We genuinely value your insights, and we want to assure you that your feedback has not gone unnoticed. If you have any further details or suggestions you'd like to share, please feel free to reach out to us directly at manager@sheptonmalletprison.com. We are committed to continuous improvement, and your input is instrumental in helping us achieve that goal. Once again, thank you for choosing to share your experience with us. We hope to have the opportunity to welcome you back in the future, providing an improved and more enjoyable visit. Kind regards Charlie
    Written 21 November 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 18 November 2023
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Rebbecca A
Bristol, UK23 contributions
We went and had the ghost tour here last night with Jason, he was very good. He was very knowledgeable and kept you listening with facts and stories from people me knows and their personal experiences about seeing ghosts within the grounds. He gave alot of history in his talk but made it enjoyable although being respectful. I liked that we had chance to go and explore on our own at different intervals throughout the tour. Although we didn’t seen or hear anything ghost like it was a very enjoyable few hours. Would definitely recommend going before they close beginning of January.
Written 8 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sally B
1 contribution
Dec 2023 • Couples
The Tour was excellent and the Tour Guide Jason was extremely knowledgeable and told very interesting tales. We had no idea how large the site was and didn’t realise that we could have explored the site before the Tour. We wished we had as the tour ended 30 minutes before closure and then it was a rush to see the unaccompanied parts.
Written 7 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Linda R
1 contribution
Dec 2023 • Family
My son took some videos and photographs of the prison for his website. There is so much to learn and absorb from the prison's history and my husband and I remembered some of the criminals who were displayed in one of the rooms, like Mary Bell and the Kray twins.
Written 7 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sally P
Bath, UK13 contributions
Dec 2023 • Family
Did the Ghost Tour on the 6th December with family - brilliant! Well worth a visit - Jason our guide was excellent, very informative - we're going back to do a guided tour during daylight hours. Can't believe it's closing - what a loss, both to the locality and for it's place in history!
Written 7 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Vicky OKell
Bristol, UK11 contributions
Dec 2023 • Friends
The tour was awesome, really informative, interesting history, great tour guide (Jason - I think) was really good and provided information about the prison and its ghosts in a way that felt sympathetic to those who once resided there. Such a shame this place is closing, it's somewhere that warrants repeat visit and would love to have come back and do the tour again.
Written 7 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jayden J
1 contribution
Dec 2023 • Business
Went on a college trip on December 5th 2023 and I would 100% go again. I got to experience what it was like in a cell and the tour guide talked us through the history of the prison and what life was really like there and you get to explore the prison.If you are in the area I would recommend going for a nice day out if you like history and learning about life in prison. Also would try the escape room, where you get locked in a cell and try to escape.
Written 5 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Peter D
2 contributions
Dec 2023 • Couples
We enjoyed the visit and learned a lot about the buildings and its occupants. The staff made us feel welcome and were very knowledgeable.
I hope that the jail an stay open to visitors if so we will return and book a guided tour.
Peter Dunn
Written 5 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

hallsparkles
Crewkerne, UK2 contributions
Dec 2023 • Couples
A real shame if this closes Fantastic friendly staff An experience that helps ones understanding of the prison system that goes emotionally deeper than reading about it. Please go if you can
Written 5 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

James C
1 contribution
Dec 2023 • Family
A fascinating place. Full of history and a harrow place at times. It’s a shame the site is going to close.
Written 5 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kitty_kat1963
Worcester, UK64 contributions
Dec 2023 • Couples
I attended the prison after hearing it is shutting on the 2nd January, 2024! We spent over three hours here, the first 1.5 hrs on a guided tour with Jeremy and the remainder was spent exploring at our leisure. Jeremy was knowledgeable and enthusiastic, he brought the information to life, excellent tour guide. We also loved that we could spend the rest of the day exploring what is a vast site, lots of nooks and crannies. The history here is so interesting. Credit to the staff who have managed to remain enthusiastic and engaging despite the fact they have all been told they’ve lost their jobs….just before Christmas. The owner of the site should be ashamed of himself! It’s very sad that a 400 year old part of UK history is going to be developed into housing/posh hotel. Yet another example of UK’s history being lost to the greed of the rich!
Written 5 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Shepton Mallet Prison

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