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Old Gaol

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Address: York, ME
Phone Number: 207-363-4974
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Description:

America's first prison, built in 1719.

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Eye opening!

Not knowing much about jails in general, I went in because the outside gallows intrigued me. I had read this was the first jail constructed in the U.S. at the request of the... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed September 3, 2015
Janet8353
,
Biddeford, ME
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16 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Biddeford, ME
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2015

Not knowing much about jails in general, I went in because the outside gallows intrigued me. I had read this was the first jail constructed in the U.S. at the request of the Crown. The $5 entrance fee was well spent for me since I am fascinated by the evolution of Colonial America. The for the most part self-guided tour... More 

Helpful?
Thank Janet8353
Portland, Maine
Level Contributor
127 reviews
83 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2015

what a great old building to explore, with other historic homes nearby. The jail is open to walk through and is located by historic homes and graveyard. There is a small fee but includes the other buildings to see.

Helpful?
Thank scott a
York, Maine
Level Contributor
27 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2015

Kids loved having their picture taken while they we "in the stocks". Good history lesson for elementary school kids.

Helpful?
Thank mollycat14
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
227 reviews
81 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 269 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2014

The Old Gaol is a self-guided tour. There was a guide there who stayed outside while we toured. There are plaques that you have to read that give the history of the gaol. The jailer, his wife and children lived on the premises with the prisoners. See how the wealthy prisoners were able to bring their bed and furnishings to... More 

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3 Thank bainso
York, Maine
Level Contributor
14 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2014

I've been a interpreter for the Museums of Old York for many years. The Old Gaol is a wonderful place to begin your tour of the first origins of Maine. It is the oldest British public building in the U.S. and the "stone dungeon" dates from 1719. Come see how peoples of the past were punished and compare it to... More 

Helpful?
5 Thank beachgirlybm
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Level Contributor
21 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2013

A very old gaol with a lot of authentic articles in the rooms. Can be disconcerting if you're sensitive to feelings of those who have gone before you and were in unpleasant circumstances.

Helpful?
2 Thank Christina G
Tucson, Arizona
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2013

Very cool look into the 17th and18th century....as with all the York Museums, great guides both friendly and knowledgeable.

Helpful?
1 Thank Wendy W
USA
Level Contributor
203 reviews
47 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2013

A different concept of "Jailing" than we know today. Most interesting. Self guided aso no one to ask questions of.

Helpful?
1 Thank Steveuj
Boston
Level Contributor
66 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2013 via mobile

Great little museum capturing the life of the prisoners and jailers in colonial York Maine. What's amazing is how the jailer and his wife and their four kids lived side by side with the prisoners they kept. See the original jail cells, graffiti from prisoners, period furnishing. Cool place to visit.

Helpful?
4 Thank BosKat
Newbury, MA
Level Contributor
37 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2013

Usually historic places are a bit too stark with modern lighting and the feeling you are in a museum looking through glass, but here you get the feeling that you stepped back in time into the real deal. Great experience. Wonderful history. Lots of interesting facts and I enjoyed every minute. Then go to the Fat Tomato Grill for lunch.

Helpful?
6 Thank Connie H

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