6 reviews of Bodmin Jail in English
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I have visiated Bodmin Jail several times and taken family visiting from up country and exchange students who have all loved the experience.
The history and background of some of the people that were imprisoned there was informative and yet quite eye opening. Some of their crimes were quite trivial to be locked up in such a harsh place.
I was interested upon reading the book that is on sale how one of the governors turned the punishment wheel into a profitable venture. Instead of spending hours on the treadwheel serving no purpose just punishment, the governor had the treadwheel connected to grinding wheels to grind local cereals into flour and charged for the service.
We have eaten in both the bar area and La Scala, the restaurant upstairs, when it was open. The food was amazing. I particularly like the way in La Scala you pick your food and it is cooked for you from scratch. I was quite surprised how quickly the food was prepared, cooked and served. I look forward to La Scala re-opening and would thoroughly recomend it to everyone.
This was nothing like I’d expected - for some reason I was expecting a more modern gaol. This is very historic, though, and extremely interesting. It’s very much a 'work in progress’; sufficient restoration work having been done on the gaol to be able to open it as a tourist attraction, which in turn will fund more restoration.
Signage is not brilliant. When we arrived, it didn’t look like there was sufficient parking space through the entrance arch so we squeezed in on the road. (Had we not got a space, we may have given up). There was some parking that was full just in front of the entrance, but there may have been some down the side; we never got that far.
We also had some trouble trying to establish where to go to get admission tickets (actually in the bar/restaurant bit, which was a bit odd, but presumably a temporary measure while visitor numbers build up). The bar and restaurant looked fabulous and I would have loved to chill out there, but we were out of time.
The gaol itself was very interesting, with plenty of case studies so you could really imagine life in those times in the prison. (Although there wasn’t the air of hopelessness that I am sure must have pervaded the building then).
The gift shop seemed a little on the small size for a tourist attraction, and I wondered if they had had trouble with shoplifters as I felt that we were being watched suspiciously all the time we were in there (but that may have just been the effect of hanging around a prison).
The gift shop also hires out bikes, which is an excellent idea and one we’d like to take advantage of in the future.
I would definitely recommend this place, and would like to eat there even if we’re not visiting the gaol. There has been very good attention to detail.
Bodmin jail is a creepy place to go and visit. Once you have paid your admission fee at the bar you are pointed in the direction of the jail and the left to have a wonder around at your own pace.
It doesn’t seem like a huge amount of money has been spent on the look of the jail (I’m guessing any money they have been able to spend on it is probably to stop it falling down - some of the parts of the building you can’t get into are literally dropping to bits) but there are some interesting displays and information boards about some of the people that had been locked up through the years (although some of the models are a bit ropey). You can also see the area where people used to get hanged!
It’s good being able to look around at your own speed, rather than being shephered around, and it not being all done out lets you have a proper impression of what it must have been like when still is use. I would recommend a visit!
Interesting place to visit. Eerie atmosphere but the models could do with updating. Very cold when you get down there, it does feel haunted. Could be a bit scary for younger children. Nice food in the restaurant.
Me, my husband and then 22 month old daughter visited Bodmin Jail when we were on holiday in Cornwall. Theres a beautiful courtyard with seats and a cafe, then you go into this gorgeous old beautiful pub/restaurant where you can pay for your entry fee, which is -
Children 5-16 £3.25
Senior Citizens £3.75
Disabled Persons £3.25.
Then you go through to the actual jail and its soooo creepy. Its proper dark, and in all the little jail cells is creepy looking mannequinns with eery spooky lights on them. I believe there is about 4 levels to view and there’s little bits of info outside all the cells that tells you about certain murderers, and criminals that stayed at Bodmin. Word of warning the stairs are pretty thin and quite steep, i believe they’re the original stairs and they’re stone so can be quite dangerous for youg children and the elderly. So just hold their hands!! :) hehe.
They have a christmas do going on this year and they also do paranormal walks which sounds ssssoooooooo cool!! i would love to do that. The jail was built in 1779 so you can imagine how creepy it is. It was even on Most Haunted!!! Evette Fielding said it was “one of the most haunted places ive been”.
They also do a thing called the Camel Trail, where you can hire bikes and its a proper bike trail through St. Austell which is just gorgeous!
Id highly recommend this place to anyone! Go visit the website!!
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