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Home | Experiences | Arts & Culture | Oxford Castle & Prison

Oxford Castle & Prison


Arts & Culture Experience

Visit Oxford Castle & Prison to explore 1,000 years of Oxford’s fascinating and ancient history. Sitting in the heart of Oxford it was first built by command of William the Conqueror in the 11th century. Admission to the castle is via guided tours only, which are available every day from 10am-5pm (pre-booking recommended). Tours are led by a costumed guide which really helps to set the scene! As part of the castle’s award-winning tours, you can also climb 101 steps to the top of St George’s Tower where you’ll be able to enjoy panoramic views of the dreaming spires of Oxford.

You can also go underground into the candle-lit crypt and step inside the 18th-century prison cells. Experience what the harsh conditions would have been like during your days here as a prisoner. Each cell holds a story of its prisoners, one of which was Charles I, and you can see some of the graffiti they left. Take in the scene from the Oxford Castle mound, which was built by the Normans as the foundations for the castle keep. You can climb the mound with your tour access, or for a small fee you can also go up anytime. It provides you with a unique view of the area. After your tour you then have time to explore the castle’s exhibition. Here you will learn about the more recent history and the inmates that have stayed here.

Other activities to enjoy include Jailbreak: The Escape Room Experience; Oxford History Walks which head out into the city; murder mystery events and the Spectre Ghost Tours. The castle also offers a range of costumed tours and experiences to suit different groups.

Your holiday party could also enjoy a private evening tour of the site. This is a unique way to enjoy the views over Oxford from the top of St George’s Tower. Watch the sunset with a glass of prosecco, before dining out in Oxford. Events are held in the castle yard and have included Shakespeare plays in this perfectly fitting setting.

Oxford Castle & Prison hosts fantastic events for all ages throughout the year, from outdoor plays to knight school and birds of prey displays.

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