National Justice Museum
National Justice Museum
4.5
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
A visit to the National Justice Museum tends to stay with people long after they’ve left. A museum of crime, punishment and social justice, we are based in the Grade II* listed Shire Hall in Nottingham. Over five floors, our building houses a Victorian courtroom, Georgian gaol, and cells that date back hundreds of years. As you explore our historic spaces, you'll meet our team of costumed characters, ready to share real stories from the history of our gaol. Our actors also re-enact historical court cases, linked to the themes of our latest exhibition. If you're feeling brave, you can even join us for daily hangings in our exercise yard! In our free exhibition spaces, explore themes of modern social justice, inspired by artefacts from our collection. These spaces do not need a Museum admission ticket to enter - our friendly team on reception can point the way.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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  • Sean
    32 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    National justice museum
    Where to start, this is an amazing place for all ages. There is some really good exhibits in here. We were lucky enough to speak to those arranging the new exhibit about the prison visits and I have to say I was committed to it on a level I did not expect. The forensics exhibit was very interesting and the spoken witness statements from the victims of the great train robbery were moving. All the staff were really helpful and friendly, a nice little cafe and shop. Now to the good parts there is what I call the mini shows, the interactive plays of the hangings and the court case. You will be so engrossed and laughing out loud whilst learning about how things were in the past. The staff/characters keep you engaged in a way that any stage show on the west end would love to achieve. They steal the whole day and you won't care 1 bit. I would highly recommend a visit to this museum, you won't regret it, no matter your age
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written July 2, 2023
  • MrsPeterken
    Auckland Central, New Zealand79 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    This place certainly does justice to the history of this location!
    When I arrived, the lady had run out of maps so at first I had no idea where I was going or what there was to see! I'm not quite sure even now if I saw it all, but the buts I did see were great. I was hugely impressed with the actors who I came across in the cells and also in the courthouse, that was quite a treat and really brought the spaces to life. I would have liked to stay for the execution session (!) But ran out of time. I'd definitely love to bring thr family back here again!
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written July 5, 2023
  • Clive howell
    11 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Must do museum
    Great museum. So much to see. Well set out. You can spend hours in here. The actors are so good and believable. Good value for money and if you do the caves also you can do both at a reduced cost. Great cafe where some of the best cakes can be found and prices are good.
    Visited August 2023
    Written August 11, 2023
  • Pip H
    5 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Justice and caves tour
    One could spend hours here, a fascinating place. Staff were incredibly helpful. Actors were brilliant, knowledgeable and entertaining, particularly liked their ‘off the cuff’ banter to various visitors. Cafe was lovely, food was fresh and very tasty. Not cheap, but food was worth it. Plenty to see. Sad to see but it is what it was for the time! Plan to spend the day, I still didn’t get to see it all. Book the caves as well! Good value for both and again, very interesting. Just remember- caves are caves, not carpeted flooring. Thank you all for a wonderful day.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written August 17, 2023
  • Abbey C
    2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Lots of fun
    Me and my boyfriend visited this museum recently and it was amazing. Every single member of staff we spoke to was extremely friendly, especially Andy and the two ladies performing alongside him. They are so full of knowledge and make the day really fun and entertaining for everyone.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written August 17, 2023
  • Louise J
    Leicester, United Kingdom5 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fantastic experience 😀
    Brilliant, interactive, informative fun! Great way to spend a couple of hours in an historic setting. Highly knowledgeable staff at every corner who are clearly interested in their jobs and value public interaction!
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written August 23, 2023
  • Amelia
    17 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The best museum!
    Such a fun, interesting and engaging museum! Definitely recommend both the court case trial reenactment and the near hanging execution! Both were brilliantly educational but also interesting! I also found the inmate art work fascinating, make sure you visit the violin made out of match sticks - so impressive! It took us 3 hours to see everything and loved every moment!
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written August 31, 2023
  • Des C
    78 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Excellent Museum
    Went to this museum on a Sunday morning as it open at 10am. Very interesting place staff were excellent. We even watched a courtroom trial with staff playing the actors. Well worth a visit highly recommended.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 15, 2023
  • Scarlettraveller
    Brisbane, Australia127 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Very interesting
    The museum has done an amazing job at combining the new and the old. There exhibits range from original gallows platforms to information on the refugee crisis. They had signs around the place that told you if an exhibit was noisy, dark, cramped, have disturbing content or a live performer. I found these signs very helpful to plan my way around the museum. The whole place had a bit of a creepy vibe to it as if the people who died there are still hanging around.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written September 17, 2023
  • Scampz85
    83 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Really interesting if this is your sort of thing! Very informative and great actors for the re-enactments.
    This was such a fascinating museum, plenty to explore. We really appreciated the court room re-enactment as well as the execution. Both were entertaining but also very informative from a historical perspective. The cells and dungeons give such a great insight into the history that is clearly well preserved at this museum. I certainly wouldn't have wanted to be in one!
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 23, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles1,879 reviews
Excellent
1,285
Very good
456
Average
98
Poor
21
Terrible
19

wendy p
1 contribution
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
Though it would be good fun to attend the Dickensian Christmas Carol murder mystery themed evening on the 14th December. The actors were ok and it was quite enjoybale up until the meal being served which we paid for as part of the evenings even Firstly,a seating arrangement plan was placed out side the dining hall and it clearly stated we had a table and seating but when we entered a group of people were already sitting there. We had to stand around until another gap at a table was free for us to be seated. Not a good start or an apology for the blunder. Secondly, no dessert available after everyone else had been served and to add insult to injury we were told nothing was available only left over cakes. Again, no apology or substiitue or an offer of a drink maybe to compensate? So no would certainly not recommend one of their "themed evenings" not value for money and you do not get what you pay for. Very poor service and very dissapointing.
Written January 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi Wendy, Thank you for taking the time to feed this back to us. We’re very sorry and concerned to hear about your experience. Our Christmas parties received really positive feedback and we would be grateful if you could contact us via communications@nationaljusticemuseum.org.uk to discuss your complaint in more detail. Warm regards,
Written January 22, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

GemmaLouise284
28 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Friends
4/5 purely because the museum is freezing which spoils the enjoyment of it after a while when you start to lose the feeling in your fingers and toes (We were wrapped up in hat, scarf, gloves). I understand some rooms couldn't be warm due to their location to the outdoors however a lot of the rooms could and should be heated.

Other than that, absolutely fantastic. Hanging and courtroom great. If you gift aid you get a 1 year ticket. Ask at the desk for discounted parking for the NCP Stoney Street. Costs £7.20 rather than £22 to park all day.

We will definitely be back in warmer weather to see the rest of it.

Allow several hours (at least half a day) to enjoy the museum and talks. We arrived at lunchtime and left at 3 for the caves tour (joint ticket) and didn't manage to see it all.

Recommended :-)
Written February 23, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi Gemma, Thank you for leaving us such a wonderful review! We're sorry you felt a little cold walking round - many customers often wonder how the inmates used to cope before the days of central heating. We do have heaters in most of our exhibits, but the nature of the building and it's heritage status does mean we're a little tied when it comes to making it cosier. We look forward to welcoming you back in the warmer months!
Written February 26, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Gill X
Bedford, UK17 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023
We were absolutely blown away by this museum. It was well set out and provided a really interesting history of the prison and the criminal justice system two hundred years ago. Planned to spend only a couple of hours here before visiting the City of Caves (which we did and was also an incredible experience) but we were able to return to the National Justice Museum (having got our wristbands) to see the criminal courtroom and public execution performances which were brilliant - the performers were marvellous and conveyed so much information that was quite staggering to learn. Would highly recommend this place and booking a joint visit to the City of Caves gives you discounted rates - excellent value !
Written April 22, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ralph B
9 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2021 • Family
Excellent and you could easily fill three hours here. Particularly impressive was the energy and charisma of the actors as they welcome you in and communicate the history. Also summarises the dark side of 'justice' and puts it in cotext.

If you are driving the Stoney Street car park is a rip off normally but if you get the voucher from reception here it brings the cost of all day parking to 7.50 which is well worth it.

Also went to see City of Caves at a discounted price with the double booking. Not as good but worth doing as an add on for 40 mins or so.
Written November 2, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Daniel E
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Couples
Came here with someone who also loves museums and we weren’t expecting the interactive experience which came as a delight! The museum is far bigger than you think it is going to be! You start of by being given a prisoner number from which you get to find your own story somewhere in the museum (I was a homeless musician who committed murder!). There are actors/actresses throughout the museum who tell you about the different areas and even put on events, notably the trial and the execution, both of which were superb on our visit. There is lot to do and it’s easy to get lost in the labyrinth of exhibits! Well worth the money!
Written January 3, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sellest
Bushey, UK4,951 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2021
Visited here at the weekend with my two youngest (aged 18 and 12). There is so much to see and do here that you really need to allow at least 3 to 4 hours (we only had 2 ½ hours and this just was not enough). The characters throughout the museum are brilliant and impart information in an enthralling and engaging way, totally in character. Make sure you attend the hearing in the court and the execution (lots of audience participation …. My 12 year old got roped in!!). We thoroughly enjoyed our experience here and would recommend it to anybody.
Written November 18, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

malcar12
Manchester, UK33 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022
The young woman 'acting' as matron of the women's prison was a total credit to the museum! The current exhibit on protest was also imaginative and informative. As older 'concessionary' visitors we were perhaps not the regular visitors. On a short visit to Nottingham we were simply seeing highlights. This museum was certainty one of them, but £12 concession entry fee at after 3 in the afternoon when many of the 'living' experiences were finished was, we thought, quite expensive.
An interactive museum there is much of interest, all presented in an accessible way.
Written July 14, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

869kayleighg
Stafford 4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Couples
Having been before, we went specifically for the mock trial and the guided tour showing us where prisoners have escaped.
The trial was fantastic. Gave some really good knowledge of an actual case in a fun way that would make it easy to remember.
Had 30 mins or so before the guided tour so we have a little look round some of the museum before heading back up to the entrance area.
The tour was lead by a really knowledgable and engaging staff member- sadly didn’t get her name. Would absolutely recommend this if it’s on when you go! Was so informative and so interesting to hear how people had tried to escape the prison!
Written February 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi Kayleigh, Thanks for leaving us such a positive review! We love hearing your feedback. I'll be sure to pass this on to the lady who led your tour for you. Do pop back soon!
Written February 17, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Lynda C
Wokingham, UK560 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2021
What a brilliant museum. We had a joint ticket with the City of Caves.
There are 2 mock trials each day - based on the script from an 1830 trial. The visitors are the juey and there are actors/guides who are the judge and lawyer. Very well done a nd a good way to learn what it was like then.
There are also 2 gallows talks each day with a hangman and the lawayer again going through a script of what it would have been like. Again very entertaining and educational. It is really bought to life with stories of real prisoners.
The museum is huge built in a warren of old prison buidlngs. It goes from old times to present day.
There is a small cafe selling drinks, sandwiches, toasties and delicious cakes - I recommend the lemon drizzle.
A must see.
Written September 29, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Natasha B
Chatham, UK21 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022
Such an interesting and important place really enjoyed our visit. Completely ran out of time to see everything despite being there for 2 hours so if you have a good attention span and want to see all the performances as well then I recommend putting the time aside and finding out timings of performances in advance. If you can get up and over early then I recommend a visit to City of Caves as well on the dual ticket.
Written October 17, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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