Inveraray Jail

An exquisitely preserved jail and courtroom, Inveraray Jail takes you back in time where, in the 19th century, thousands of men, women and children were tried and imprisoned. First opened to the public following restoration in 1989, costumed characters and guided tours bring the prison to life – and have made it one of the country’s top tourist attractions.

Inveraray had a Courthouse and prison since the 18th century as it was the principal county town. There was a prison building opened in 1820 and then the new prison which is the one we see today opened in 1848. The jail closed in 1889 when prisoners were sent to the larger city prisons. The Courthouse continued for a while longer but eventually by 1954 it was closed completely. In 1989 the Scottish Office recognised the significance of this building and started work to renovate it and open it to the public.

This is a piece of history that you can immerse yourself in and feel part of. It re-enacts real court cases in the Courthouse and allows the visitor to sit in the courtroom as if they were a witness and listen to the case and the final judgements. Visitors can also see and touch some of the torture implements used and learn the stories of real prisoners and see what life was like for them.

It’s a must if you are visiting Inveraray.

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