Family Fun


Shepton Mallet Prison

Shepton Mallet Prison

Frithfield Lane, Shepton Mallet, BA4 5FQ


Built in 1610 following on Act introduced by King James I, which stated that all counties had to have their own ‘House of Correction’; Shepton Mallet was the oldest working prison in the United Kingdom...

Shepton Mallet Prison

Shepton Mallet Prison is a recently (2013) decommissioned Georgian jail where you can walk in the footsteps of our social history and listen whilst an ex prison officer shines a light on what life was like for both the incarcerated and those who guarded them through the ages.

Before closure it was a category C lifer prison holding 189 prisoners. Opened in 1646 in was expanded in 1790 with further building work undertaken in the 1820s and 1830s which included the installation of a treadwheel for those sentenced to hard labour. In 1930 the number of inmates had fallen and the prison was closed.

Following the outbreak of the second world war the prison was reopened as a military prison. It was initially used by the British Army and later by American forces who constructed a new execution bock to hang condemned prisoners. It was also used for the storage of important historical documents including the Domesday Book. It returned to civilian use in 1966.

Shepton Mallet prison is associated with many tales of paranormal activity and ghosts. One of the most popular stories is that of the White Lady. She is seen in several places, but A Wing is one of the main places she is seen or felt. Staff and prisoners would often complain of an icy wind moving through the wing, the sweet smell of perfume and shadowy figures.

She supposedly dates from the late 1700s, when she spent some time in the prison. During a lovers' tiff which escalated, she murdered her betrothed. Once found guilty and sentenced to death, she was housed in Shepton Mallet Prison. On the evening before her execution, she asked for her wedding dress to be brought to the prison, which they allowed. She wore it to bed that night, but in the morning the officers found that she had died during the night. No cause of death was ever found, so we are left to presume that she died of a broken heart. Perhaps this is why she still haunts the prison? 

More recently, in the early 1950s the Kray Twins were held here after deserting the British Army.

It is now open as a tourist attraction offering guided tours, self guided tours, ghost tours, A Night Behind Bars, escape rooms and Prison Break. This is an immersive experience without gizmos or gimmicks – the jail is very much as it was when the last prisoners left in 2013.

In 2020 the prison was awarded the prestigious Trip Advisor Travellers Choice meaning that it is rated in the top 10% of worldwide attractions

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Opening Hours

January to December



Self Guided Tours
Adults £15
Concessions and Students - £13
Children (5-15) - £10
Family – 2a and 2c - £45
Family – 2a and 3c - £55

Guided Tours – 2 hours
Adults - £22
Concessions and Students - £19
Children (5–15) - £14.50
Family – 2a and 2c - £63
Family – 2a and 3c - £73

Escape Rooms (cost includes a self guided tour)
Adults - £20
Children £10

Ghost Tour – 90 minutes Thursday evenings
Adults - £25
Children (12+) - £25

£3 parking on site








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                      TRAVEL & TRADE


                          • Accept Bank Transfers, Internet Payment or SWIFT/IBAN

                          • Accept Children Over 3

                          • All major credit cards accepted

                          • Can be packages by 3rd parties

                          • Cash & Cheque accepted

                          • Cash & Cheque only

                          • Coach drop-off point

                          • Contactless payment accepted

                          • Delta accepted

                          • Demonstrations Given

                          • Dog Friendly

                          • Dogs Accepted

                          • Educational Visits Accepted

                          • Event venue

                          • Families

                          • Family Fun

                          • Groups

                          • Guided Tours Available for Groups

                          • Guided Tours Available for Individuals

                          • In town/city centre

                          • Indoor Attraction

                          • Maestro accepted

                          • Marketed towards children

                          • Marketed towards families

                          • MasterCard accepted

                          • Min group size

                          • On site parking

                          • Open All Year

                          • Open by appointment outside normal opening times

                          • Packed lunches available

                          • Picnic Area

                          • Room/unit allocations available

                          • Shop

                          • Smoking Some Areas

                          • Solo accepted

                          • Stag and Hen Parties

                          • Tea / Coffee Shop

                          • Toilets

                          • Visa accepted

                          • Wedding Venue


                          Shepton Mallet Prison
                          Frithfield Lane
                          Shepton Mallet
                          BA4 5FQ
                          United Kingdom

                          T: 01749 681862



                          Facebook: @SheptonMalletprison

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