Discover the varied history of Oxford Castle and Prison - learn about its time as a religious site, a jail, and a university. Let your guide reveal its secrets to you as you visit St. George's Tower, the crypt, the Debtors' Tower, and more.
About this activity
Duration 1 hour
Printed or mobile voucher accepted
Cancel up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund
Select date and participants:
Climb the Saxon St. George’s Tower, one of the oldest buildings in Oxford, and enjoy its stunning 360° panoramic views of the city
Descend deep into the atmospheric 900-year-old crypt, the only surviving remains of St. George’s Chapel
Explore the austere confines of the 18th century Debtors’ Tower and Prison D-Wing
Marvel at the mound of the 11th century Motte-and-Bailey castle, and discover its vaulted Well Chamber
Learn about the modern history of the site and its inmates in the historical Exhibition Wing
Discover 1,000 years of Oxford’s history - Oxford Castle and Prison is a visitor attraction with a past stretching far beyond your imagination. For hundreds of years, the site has held both famous and infamous residents, serving time as a religious site, a home for royalty, and a center of justice as the County Jail. Built in 1071 and only closed in 1992, Oxford Castle and Prison is a site with so many fascinating tales to tell, from the modern day stretching all the way back to the barbaric medieval era. The site has links to the birth of education in Oxford, the famous legends of King Arthur, the valiant escape of Empress Matilda and the infamous modern-day cases of murderers and criminals.
Led by a costumed character guide, the rich history of the castle and prison will be revealed as you climb the Saxon St. George’s Tower, descend deep underground into the 900-year-old Crypt, explore the Victorian Prison D-Wing and Debtors' Tower, and scale the Mound of the 11th century Motte-and-Bailey castle.
After your tour, you will be led into the exhibition wing. The wider castle site will also be available for you to explore at your own leisure. The Castleyard Cafe is open seven days a week from 10:00 AM till 5:00 PM and stocks an array of locally sourced products.