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The Fauquier History Museum at the Old Jail

10 Ashby St, County House Square, Warrenton, VA 20186
+1 540-347-5525
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Ranked #4 of 10 Attractions in Warrenton
Type: Museums
Owner description: Built in 1808, the front portion of the jail originally contained four cells, each of which was approved to house 40 prisoners. In 1823, after only 15... more » Owner description: Built in 1808, the front portion of the jail originally contained four cells, each of which was approved to house 40 prisoners. In 1823, after only 15 years of use, the 1808 jail was deemed insufficient and a new stone jail was built just to the rear of the older structure. The 1808 jail was then converted into a house for the jailor with a kitchen made of the leftover stones from the "New Jail" added in 1823. The rear structure contains original cells as well as an exercise yard, which was also used as a hanging yard. Hangings took place in the yard until 1896. This is one of the most perfectly preserved old jails in the Commonwealth, and was operated as a jail until 1966. Today, the Old Jail is a history museum focusing on the histories of the Town of Warrenton, Fauquier County, and the Commonwealth of Virginia. The artifacts that make up the museum's exhibitions have all been donated by generous local citizens. « less
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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
5 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2014 NEW

We made it a point to check out the old jail as a historic reference point on our trip. It's small but filled with some great history. The museum is set up to give you an understanding of both the history of the building and the area in general. We loved it and would recommend it to anyone visiting Warrenton.

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Manassas, Va.
Top Contributor
174 reviews 174 reviews
13 attraction reviews
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2014

Nice little museum within the Old Town section of Warrenton. Worth a visit if you're in the area. The history here is preserved well and you'll learn much of the historic era for the town.

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Woodstock, Virginia
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
20 attraction reviews
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2014

This is a unique historic place in "Old Town Warrenton" right next to the county courthouse...an actual Civil War era jail. See the cell and jail yard from the inside!. Check out extensive displays and artifacts of jail life. Enjoy well versed volunteer docents giving interesting and informative tours. If your kids misbehave you can bring them here (for an... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Orange, Virginia
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2014

This wonderful museum has such a nice variety of exhibits that you should not believe the name says it all. You will enjoy artifacts about Lafayette, dentistry, wines, cooking, fashions, police equipment and so much more. Their gift shop features treasures crafted by local artisans so you're obtaining something unique to Fauquier County/Town of Warrenton.

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Warrenton, Virginia
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2013

The old jail museum is located in the charming town of Warrenton, VA. It is a relatively small museum but with lots of content relating to historic Warrenton and the Civil War. Entrance is free, with donations accepted and appreciated. You tour on your own, but there is always a docent present to provide information or answer questions. We have... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 5
NYC
Top Contributor
155 reviews 155 reviews
84 attraction reviews
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2013

Doesn't look like much on the outside, but there is plenty of history inside. Lots of exhibits from the Civil war too. Upstairs there are actual jail cells

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Herndon, Virginia
Top Contributor
401 reviews 401 reviews
79 attraction reviews
187 helpful votes 187 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2013

We enjoyed our visit to the jail. We were greeted by a lady who has been there for many years. Although this is a self guided tour, she told us the history of both jails. She was very knowledgeable. The front part of the jail originally contained four cells, holding 40 prisoners each. After 15 years, it was decided to... More

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Marshall, Virginia
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
23 attraction reviews
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2013

This exceeded my expectations. A very well presented museum within the 2 old jails. There is information on the jails themselves as well as local Civil War artifacts and information. Each room holds something different; the complete 1920's dental room is intriguing and the solitary confinement cells are actually quite harrowing. There is plenty of written information that can be... More

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Denver
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
5 attraction reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2013

We enjoyed this visit. The lady who attended the jail was very knowledgeable. Amazing that this building was still standing after the fire. A little piece of history that I am glad is still standing.

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Montreal, Canada
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
4 attraction reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2013

Simple picture of jailhouse life, with other exhibits of the period, including cooking, local life and dignitaries, a dentist's surgery (ewww!) and costumes. A pair of grim metal cells are also on display. Friendly and knowledgable local lady attends the museum. Not the Smithsonian, but worth a visit if you are there with time on your hands.

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