Visit Stirling Old Town Jail and experience a fantastic live prison tour, when you will meet the characters who bring this incredible building back to life.

A scary guard
Jail keys

CURRENT Opening Times...

5th April - 28th October, 10am - 5pm.
Last Admission - 1 hour before CLOSING

Old coinage

Admission Prices...

For a full list of 2012 Admission Prices
Admission Prices »

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VisitScotland Information Centre

VisitScotland at The Old Town Jail

You'll now find a VisitScotland Information Centre immediately inside the main entrance gates of The Old Town Jail. So if you need some help or advice on what to do, what to see, where to go, or even where to stay - then this is the place to ask!

You'll find lots of information on Stirling, along with books, maps, guides, souvenirs and gifts, all available in the retail area. After you visit The Old Town Jail, it's the perfect place to plan the rest of your day!

Bloody Scotland

Bloody Scotland

14th to 16th September 2012

Bloody Scotland - Scotland’s crime-writing festival, takes place in Stirling in September 2012. Top writers will be gathering in the city for a weekend of special events – for further information check out (Link to

Stirling - Scotland’s Historic Heart

The cobbled streets of Stirling’s Old Town boast the finest concentration of historic buildings in Scotland. Clustered around the Old Town Jail are beautifully preserved mediaeval and Renaissance churches and mansions, from the Star Pyramid in the grounds of the Church of the Holy Rude to the 17th Century splendour of Argyll’s Lodging


Your tour of The Old Town Jail can be the start of a fascinating journey through time - which you can complete by visiting The National Wallace Monument to discover the story of Scotland’s national hero Sir William Wallace.

You can download an illustrated map and guide to Stirling’s Old Town here, or collect your own copy from Reception at The Old Town Jail.

Plan your visit to Stirling at

City's Victorian Prison Welcoming New Inmates

The cells of Stirling’s Old Town Jail, which have housed debtors, thieves, and criminals of every description since first opening in 1847, are now receiving another intake of new arrivals - visitors to the city who are enjoying a fascinating insight into how the Victorians dealt with crime and punishment.


The Old Town Jail is open every day, with live prison tours introducing visitors to some of the characters who made their mark on the jail back in the 19th Century, from the notorious hangman Jock Rankine, through to the governors and reformers who sought to transform the culture for the treatment of criminals, from one of brutal punishment to one where they were reformed for their return to society.


Visitors to the Old Town Jail are also be able to hear the incredible stories of exactly how prisoners were treated in Victorian times, if they were unfortunate enough to find themselves sentenced to spend time behind bars.

The location of the Old Town Jail means that it is often the starting point for visitors exploring Stirling’s most historic quarter, which includes the Tolbooth, the Church of the Holy Rude, Argyll’s Lodging, and of course Stirling Castle.

Postcards from Jail

‘Try this for size’

Jock Rankine, Stirling's notorious hangman, measures up Old Town Jail visitor Anniek Sijtsma, from Emmeloord, in The Netherlands. Anniek managed to escape from Jock's clutches, and took home happy memories of her visit to Stirling's famous Victorian prison!

Stirling's notorious hangman, measures up Old Town Jail visitor Anniek Sijtsma

Enjoy a great day out by train

Bring the family to Stirling - the kids go free!

Scotrail Kids Go Free promotion

Hop on a train this Summer and make tracks for Stirling to enjoy a great day out.

With ScotRail’s fantastic Kids Go Free tickets, up to two children can travel free with every adult, on off-peak trains, all week.

PLUS - there’s free admission for children(*) at Stirling’s famous National Wallace Monument and fascinating Old Town Jail.

There’s lots to explore and enjoy in Stirling, from the incredible buildings in the city’s Old Town, through to first-class shopping in the Thistle Centre, and a choice of great family-friendly restaurants.

Plan your day out in Stirling now - and for further information on ScotRail’s great Kids Go Free tickets, click here.

(*) - One free child’s admission with each adult paying the standard charge.

Follow the Jail Trail

It could lead to a prize!

There’s a choice of activities for children visiting Stirling’s Old Town Jail, including the ever-popular Beastie Hunt, and the new Jail Trail, a special quiz with easy-to-answer questions about the city’s famous Victorian prison. Correct entries are submitted into a Weekly Prize Draw, with a Jail Trail participant being drawn each week to receive a souvenir gift.

Did you know?...

Times have changed since the days when the Old Town Jail was built and received its first inmates - and some of the statistics from the middle of the 19th Century make interesting reading for today’s visitors!

For example - the site on which the Old Town Jail stands was purchased in 1845 for just £2,042 (about £105,000 in current money values), and the building itself was constructed for £9,639 - 13s. - 4d., or about £564,000 in today’s terms.


Keeping a convicted criminal in jail in the 1800s was an expensive business too - in 1848 the annual cost of housing a prisoner in Stirling was £11 15s. 1d., which included £5 3s. 2d. for their food. At today’s values, that works out at about £301.92 for food, or just over £5.80 per week!

The average earnings of each prisoner in Stirling in 1848 was £2 16s. 3d.

If you want to see how currency values and spending power has changed since Victorian days, go to, where you’ll find a useful currency converter.

1847 was also a cold year!

With temperatures dropping so low in January 2010 that curlers took to the frozen waters of the Lake Of Menteith, raising the possibility of a bonspiel grand match taking place, it is interesting to reflect that it was in the year 1847 that the very first such event was held, in Penicuik, just outside the city of Edinburgh. 1847 also saw the birth of Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, the opening of Perth Railway Station, and of course the completion of Stirling Old Town Jail. The rest, as they say, is history!