Old Gaol Museum

Old Gaol Museum, Buckingham: Hours, Address, Old Gaol Museum Reviews: 4/5

Old Gaol Museum
4
Speciality Museums
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10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
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4.0
129 reviews
Excellent
45
Very good
65
Average
19
Poor
0
Terrible
0

T & J's Travels
14 contributions
Couples
The museum is good value for money at only £3.50 per adult. There are lots of objects and information inside telling the history of Buckingham, more so than actual information on the gaol. Would have been good to have had one of the cells open and showing what they would have been like for the prisoners. We particularly enjoyed the exercise yard at the end where you can dress up as a prisoner, good photo opportunity. Definitely worth a visit if in Buckingham.
Written February 3, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

jamessN445KS
Fareham, United Kingdom14 contributions
Arrived in Buckingham one very rainy afternoon and looking for something to do we came across the Old Gaol and museum, which is central to the market square.

We were pleasantly suprised at the history surrounding the area, especially in relation to the Civil War and Oliver Cromwell, who actually stayed in Buckingham on several occassions. This exhibits in the Museum reflect both the Civil war and much earlier times. The exhibits on coinage and the local Mint being of particular interest. The cells in the Gaol were very claustrophobic especially with the lights out, however they were apparantly only used for locals and invariably just for the night following a few beers too many. The highlight of the day for my partner was the exhibition for Flora Thompson who was the author of the 'Candleford' series of books. There is a collection of her various books in several languages, her actual typewriter and items of clothing and other memorabilia donated to the museum by the cast of the Larkrise to Candleford TV series that was filmed in the locality. The day became complete when we left the Museum to find it had stopped raining.
Written February 20, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Gailanne1
Stoke-on-Trent, UK163 contributions
Couples
Beautiful building from the outside..
Wasn't expecting to much as it looks small.
But was very surprised..
The museum goes from dinosaurs to present day in Buckingham..
Also about the jail there..
Very interesting..
And reasonably price..
Worth a look around..
Written June 16, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

TravellingPandaA2B
Leighton Buzzard, UK1,466 contributions
Family
This is a really lovely museum, packed full of interesting things, run by people who obviously have a deep love and care for the heritage and history of their local community. Well worth a visit, in my opinion. If you are new to Buckingham, this place can give you a very thorough introduction and help you to interpret everything you will see as you explore the town.

Some of the exhibits that I found most interesting were, a Crucifix left by Catherine of Aragon, Diplodocus vertebrae and Mammoth tusks, a scale model of the Buckingham Station of yesteryear, Saxon coinage and more........ fascinating.

It was also astonishing to find out that Buckingham was the county town of Buckinghamshire for about 800 years, whilst Aylesbury has only been the county town for less than 300 years. The status was transferred after a disastrous fire in Buckingham and has never returned.

The building itself is amazing. It doesn't matter how many times you tell your kids it was the town jail, they will be convinced that they are visiting a Castle.

We happened to be there when there was a Dinosaur themed event taking place. We had a clipboard with some questions, there were dinosaur pictures hidden in the displays, which we had to find and use information from these cards to fill out the questionnaire. It was great fun for all ages. The museum tour ends in what was the former jail's exercise yard. It's now roofed over to provide a large space for events and temporary exhibitions. When we got here we found dinosaur pictures that needed colouring in, a paper character to clip to fit together, and dinosaur toys that needed playing with! It was 50p extra to do the dinosaur event, would have been happy to pay much more, so I left a donation in the collecting case on the way out.

For television viewers that enjoyed "Lark Rise to Candleford" there is a whole room dedicated to the author and the times that she depicted.

One important consideration - Due to the nature of this historic building, it is not suitable for people with severe mobility restrictions.

There are no catering facilities on site. However the location is completely central and there are many cafes, pubs and restaurants all around.

This was a lovely family day out and I would like to highly recommend it to everyone. Also; I sincerely wish that my home town had something of this quality and importance.
Written August 27, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jannerbloke
Devon, UK12,093 contributions
Couples
You might stretch a visit to an hour if you read every text. The building looks well preserved from outside. A lot has been crammed into the inside. It is not just the old lock up and governor's house but every small piece of local memorabilia from the Romans, the Civil War through the World Wars and the laid up mayoral robes are all here. I wasn't looking for a modern interactive or heavily IT approach but the place exudes a 1980s approach to community history and what is here is likely to be of much more interest to locals than visitors. About £3.50 entrance money seemed a bit steep afterwards although I suspect the figure is the lowest they can risk given that the museum seems to be entirely privately funded. Signage could be improved. Inside the front door I was sent into the tourist info and giftie shoppe instead of the ticket issuers room. But all was good natured and it was a not a wasted visit.
Written July 6, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

SwissNomad1
Woodbridge, UK100 contributions
Good for an hour or so with some interesting background on the Buckinghamshire local area, customs and agriculture.
Written May 23, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Harrovian
England46 contributions
Solo

Did you know that Buckingham has its own patron saint, a baby named Rumbold? Also that it once had its own police force and coinage? Just a few of the facts I learned on my visit to the town museum which you cannot miss upon arrival in the High Street since it dominates the skyline. The museum on two floors is housed in the old 18th century gaol and many of the exhibits - artefacts in glass cases and clearly-displayed information boards - can be found inside the actual cells. You can also wander around the prison exercise yard where you will learn about a huge hoard of Anglo-Saxon coins recently unearthed nearby. And If you have ever read or watched "The Lark Rise to Candleford" on TV then this is also the place for you. This is a quaint and traditional museum devoid of audio-visuals and buttons to press, both entertaining and thought-provoking. It is deceptively spacious, but if you visit in winter do wrap up well as it was very cold within the bare stone walls of this atmospheric building.
Written November 29, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

HeritageHawk
East Midlands90 contributions
Friends
The contents of this museum are far more extensive than you might expect. Not only does it tell its own story of crime and punishment down the ages, but it also covers the history of Buckingham from the earliest times, through the post-Roman period when the castle stronghold at Buckingham was a focal point for Saxons in their skirmishes with the Danes who were based at Northampton, and down the ages to more modern times, charting the rises and falls of the town's fortunes. Commerce and transport links are covered too, as are interesting things like the infant Saint Rumwold, the Viking spear head, and a crucifix attributed to Catherine of Aragon..

A tour of the museum involves both floors, so stairs have to be negotiated, as do the narrow and low doors which take you in, out and through the old cells. There is a wide range of displays - some just artefacts, some depict scenes with figures in costume. Finally, the tour leads into the old exercise area, which is now covered by a glass roof and is the setting for more extensive displays. One of these is the Flora Thompson Collection. If you have read her book Lark Rise to Candleford or saw the TV series dramatisation, this will be of extra interest to you.

The staff are friendly, and the entrance area also houses the Tourist Information Centre. The overall narrative sequence of the displays is a little disjointed, but this is in part due to the constraints imposed by the building itself. There is far more inside the building than its exterior might lead you to suppose, and it is certainly worth a visit.
Written October 12, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

HappyAnn61
Grendon Underwood, UK150 contributions
This is a lovely little museum. It is a typical small market town Gaol. It's worth a browse and the little shop has some nice little mementoes.

It's also available to hire and makes an interesting venue.
Written May 7, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Gavin Young
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia10 contributions
Your average county town museum. Worth a visit if your visiting buckingham, tells the history of the town well. Slightly dated exhibits however
Written March 17, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Old Gaol Museum

Old Gaol Museum is open:
  • Mon - Sat 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM