Just catching up on some of my trips from earlier in the year when I was travelling through the south of England. You stop by places and find interesting things to do as you go. Sometimes they can be rather rubbish while other times you can find them informative and interesting. One of those stops this year was in Oxford and while I was there I decided to take a wonder round the Oxford Castle Unlocked tour. Part of the history of the city, the prison was in operation until 1996, in various guises including some brutality and a number of hangings at the site. As you pass the Prison Govenor’s house you find the entrance to the attraction.
As tourist attractions go this is one of those type that you will recognise if you live in a historic city. Telling some of the history of the location and in particular the building or site that houses it at times with a little creative embelishment. In this case, I was impressed with the amount of information and history provided by the tour guide as my small group of visitors made our way round the old prison. In my case I was led round by Elizabeth Boswell or Gypsy Boswell as she likes to be called, be prepared before you start she is a bit of a tea leaf and will happily go through your bag or dip your pockets :) She has to pay for her drinking habit somehow. The guide did however make the visit very interesting and explained a lot of the history and past in a way that kept everyone engaged.
There are a number of parts to the tour including the tower, the prison wing and the catacombs, you will enjoy the views from the top of the tower however be prepared for the climb up the narrow staircase. There are a number of surprises on the way up and lots of interesting information. The prison wing was part of the prison that was operational up until it closed, other parts of the prison are now formed into part of a boutique hotel beside the exhibition. The prison wing also houses an exhibition of the history and other items that are related to the criminal history. Finally there are the catacombs under the prison, a little bit eerie due to the nature of the place, its history and the low level of lighting. These sort of places always bring about the imagination if you are willing to let your imagination go.
All in all a very interesting attraction, if you find yourself with time in Oxford it is worth the price of the visit and a little of your time to find out some of the history.
Why not visit :- Oxford Castle Unlocked Website