Bodmin Jail’s new immersive £8.5million attraction lets guests see how prisoners lived

Bodmin Jail in Cornwall has opened its highly-anticipated new attraction, following an £8.5million redevelopment.

The jail now offers a ‘Dark Walk’ immersive experience where visitors can wander through the wings and see what life was like in the cells, from the infamous prisoners who resided here, to prison punishments and the general running of the prison.

Cornwall Live got a first-hand look inside the new attraction, including the individual rooms designed to look like Bodmin Moor, a Cornish village and even an old courtroom where visitors could attend the trials of criminals.

The jail’s Naval Wing will be opened to the public for the first time, along with the site’s former administration blocks.



A visitor takes pictures at Bodmin Jail's new attraction
A visitor takes pictures at Bodmin Jail’s new attraction

During the experience, visitors can also hear tales of what life was like in the prison from characters such as wardens and highway robbers.

There will also be plenty of stories around smuggling, mining and the everyday hardships of Cornwall’s poorest in the 18th and 19th century.



A 'mysterious skull' in the Administration Block at Bodmin Jail.
A ‘mysterious skull’ in the Administration Block at Bodmin Jail.

The attraction also features the UK’s only working execution pit, where at least 55 prisoners lost their lives in front of large crowds of up to 25,000 people.

Jess Marlton, one of the heritage guides at the jail explained: “Executions were a public spectacle.

“Records show that up to 20 or 25,000 people would come to watch a public hanging at Bodmin Jail.



Where people were originally hanged at Bodmin Jail.
Where people were originally hanged at Bodmin Jail.

“In London at the time it would have been about 40,000 people having a look. That’s the entertainment people were after in those days. It was all about making people learn to behave. It was a social event.”

Bodmin Jail’s Dark Walk experience is now open to the public.

If you want to visit, you’ll need to pre-book tickets. Adult tickets start from £15, child tickets from £12.50. You can find out more on the Bodmin Jail website.

source.



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