Oxford’s 1,000-year-old castle and former prison were recently redeveloped to create one of the city’s busiest and liveliest quarters.
Part of the old prison was transformed into the Malmaison Hotel and the remainder, plus the original castle, has reopened as a museum telling the story of the castle from 1071 until 1996, when the prison closed.
Tours guided by “characters” from the prison’s history dressed in period costume really bring the story to life.
Take a guided tour today and let the characters reveal their fascinating stories entrenched in the building’s 1,000 year history.
When William the Conqueror invaded England and won the Battle of Hastings in 1066, Oxford Castle was marked by the Normans as the ideal place for a motte-and-bailey castle. Today, after almost one millennia, Oxford Castle Unlocked is a visitor attraction with a past stretching far beyond your imagination.
A Guided Tour of Oxford Castle
Led by one of our costumed character guides, the rich history of Oxford and the castle is revealed as you…
- CLIMB the Saxon St George’s Tower, one of the oldest buildings in Oxford, and enjoy its stunning 360° panoramic views over the historic city of Oxford.
- DESCEND deep underground into the dark atmosphere of the 900 year old crypt, the only surviving remains of St. George’s Chapel where it is said, began the education for which Oxford is famed, and where Geoffrey of Monmouth penned the Legends of King Arthur.
- EXPLORE the austere confines of the 18th century Debtors’ Tower and Prison D-Wing.
- SCALE the Mound of the 11th century motte-and-bailey castle.
After your tour, you will be inducted into the castle’s prison and wider site where you will be able to explore at your own leisure. Admission to the castle is by guided tour only.
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