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“An atmospheric location yet somehow lacking something”
Review of Bodmin Jail

Bodmin Jail
Ranked #5 of 36 things to do in Bodmin
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Opening times We are open for Jail Visits between 09:30 am until 6 pm for the exhibition. Our fully licensed Bar is open from 09:30, and the restaurant serves food from 10:30 am until 9pm. Parking & Dogs We have a FREE car park for our guests to use while you visit the Jail, and a ‘Dog Friendly’ attraction. Accessibility Regrettably, due to the constraints of the building, we are not a wheelchair-friendly venue. Prices All are welcome at Bodmin Jail – come and enjoy a walk round the outside of the Jail, see the only working execution pit in the UK, and our gift shop without charge. For a more in depth look, and to experience our visitor attraction, please see the prices below. All funds generated at the Jail go to the renovation of this important historic building. SAT NAV device: PL31 2PY
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Activities for young children, Activities for older children, Food available for purchase
Reviewed 5 May 2014

Took the family to visit Bodmin jail during the February half-term break. The fact that there seemed to be only us there surprised us as much as it did the man taking the money in the pub. The price for what you get once inside seemed a bit steep as the 'attraction' part seemed uncared for, dark and damp with old models that had seen better days.
However it was not all doom and gloom, the atmosphere in the place, the exhibits and the information on some of it's past residents makes you stop and ponder what life was like in the place all those years ago.
The outside derelict section was also well worth a visit
Given some proper investment, lighting and sound this place could be a real 'scarefest' which matches the best themed dungeons other parts of the country have to offer.

1  Thank MarkJS40
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,165 - 1,169 of 1,474 reviews

Reviewed 1 May 2014

An old prison that operated for 242 years until it ffinally closed in 1927. It was a Night Club from 1946 to 1972 and is now a museum. The restored 6 floors, accessed by a winding stone stairway, opened to the public contain many of the orginal cells, some with mannequins in them and information sheets outside explaining how the poor wretches ended up in there and what their fate was. There are also a lot of further information sheets around describing the history of the prison, its staff and inmates. Quite a lot of the prison remains derilict, although there was some restoration work underway while we were there. It is 15 minutes walk from the centre of Bodmin and there is ample parking within the walls also an overflow car park.
The place is supposedly haunted and they do Ghost Walk Tours on some evenings. We did find the place very cold even on a fine Spring day.
Some earlier Trip Advisor comments were agreed with, while others were not. It would be very difficult to walk around the 6 floors in an half an hour let alone read any of the information sheets. There are cheaper places to shelter from the rain! Some of the information sheets, as reported, are difficult to read due to poor lighting. We found the restaurant (more like a nice pub's lounge bar really) fine, an extensive, reasonable priced menu, well cooked and serving generous portions. A good range of beers and ciders but a little pricey. A pretty grim place but worth a visit. Two tips take a small torch to read some of the notices and wear something warm.

Thank Antony B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 April 2014

What's gone wrong with such a promising place!!
Have visited this place on a number of occasions and can only say that this great place has got worse. It seems that there has been absolutely NO investment in this venue.
The place is so dark inside that all information boards are unreadable. We were having to use the torch on our mobiles to read them. I noticed that all of the lights have been replaced with blue LED bulbs which give off very little light. The information boards are very important as they tell the story of the many prisoners that were held within the walls of the prison. I realise that a certain dimness is required to create the right ambience and eeriness but if you cant see the models within the cells then its pointless.
Talking about the models and their clothing, it seems that the dust and dirt that cover them is now approaching about 10mm. Time for a dust off I think. I appreciate that to get the feel of the prison as it was it cant be sterile but the props need to look more authentic.
There was a time when Bodmin jail felt creepy eerie and very scary. Now it feels just damp dirty and cold.
If you decide to go make sure you take a torch!!!

3  Thank Chris H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 April 2014

After many years and work being done to this historic building found that even the cost may be an issue to some, for me the chance to see on going work will only add to the value of any inspiring visitor who looks further than there nose.
I must say i really enjoyed the food and the beer, looking at the old pictures before the work and seeing what has been achieved so far is down to the great masons / workmanship and hard work by all concerned.
If others took the time to read the history of this building and what it stood for then the stupid remarks left by others about it's ruins well time has taken it's toll but the Jail (goal) is far better now than in previous 40 years.
Having spent early years in the jail going to its disco upstairs and many a pint drunk can only in my eyes welcome more visitors in future and when the car parks are completed then it will serve as a great venue.

The staff were helpful and polite as was some locals who explained more about the ghosts and history and recent filming in the jail.

3  Thank Ronski58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 April 2014

Very interesting place to visit. Very creepy & definitely haunted !

Bit overpriced as only took half hour to go round and was £7 each.

Restaurant looked lovely but only had a drink.

Thank Gemma C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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