1. United Kingdom
  2. Oxfordshire
  3. Oxford
  4. Oxford Castle

Oxford Castle and Prison: Guided Tour

Product ID: 160806
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 ticket
Duration: 1 hour
Check availability to see starting times.
Printed or mobile voucher accepted
Instant confirmation
Host or greeter
English
Free cancellation up to 24 hours before activity starts

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Experience

Highlights
  • 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
Full description
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.
Includes
  • Access to the Castle, Prison and Mound
  • Guided tour
Not suitable for
  • People with mobility impairments

Prepare for the activity

Meeting point

Oxford Castle and Prison

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Important information
Know before you go
• This tour is not recommended for people with limited mobility
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 51 reviews

Review summary

  • Service
    4.9 / 5
  • Organization
    4.8 / 5
  • Value for money
    4.7 / 5
  • Safety
    4.7 / 5
Sort by

Brilliant experience from the booking experience to the customer service and tour itself. Site is very easy to use and very clear. I did have a question that was answered immediately on WhatsApp. How convenient! The tour was brilliant, the castle wouldn't have been the same without it. Our instructor Alister was superb!

20 January 2020

I was alone with my guide Robin on a 10 am tour, but it wasnt awkward at all! Super knowledgable dude, friendly, and was willing to shoot the shit with me in between history lessons! Poor guy had a sprained ankle but was a trooper through the pain as he was energetic and put on a good show! Glad I took the tour with such a fantastic guide, thanks!

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20 December 2019

We visited the Castle with 2 grandchildren, 8 and 10. Our guide was very clear in her speech (a help to me as I'm deaf) and in the content of her talk. She included the children but didn't talk down to them. They enjoyed the gory bits more than I did, also the mugshots and dressing up.

13 August 2019

Organized by

Oxford Castle & Prison

Product ID: 160806