Explore the 1,000-year history of Oxford Castle and Prison

Oxford, Oxfordshire

Step back in time with costumed guided tours and see fascinating stories come to life.

Hear the great tales of Empress Matilda or the fate of Mary Blandy, one of the prison's most famous criminals. Step inside a padded jail cell and meet the notorious ‘Black Panther’, a vicious prisoner held at the castle in the 1970s.

Find gorgeous views atop of St. George’s Tower and then descend into the atmospheric crypt of St Georges Chapel. Here you can touch the stones where Oxford University was rumoured to begin and stand in the birthplace of King Arthur. Afterwards, explore the austere confines of the prisons’ D-Wing and debtors tower, where you can wander the cells and learn about the prison's youngest inmates.

After your guided tour, you can climb the mound, the remains of a motte and bailey castle. Explore the attraction at your own leisure and dress up like a prisoner in the exhibition space. Sit down with a nice cup of coffee in the café, spread out your map and plan where to go next in Oxford.

In the summer, Oxford Castle & Prison have Knight School, a medieval-inspired workshop that trains children into becoming little warriors. The Shakespeare Festival is an Oxford summer staple whilst Ghost Fest is sure to give you a scare over Halloween.


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