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Tickets for Wicklow’s Historic Gaol + Audio Guide

Get right up close to life in a Victorian prison

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Overview
Opening hours
10:30 - 16:30
Best time to visit
In the morning
Highlights
  • Meet Mary Morris the Matron and get a clearer picture of daily life in this busy (and often overcrowded) Victorian prison
  • The posed figures and the historic reconstructions will help you and your family understand Irish history (and the harsh realities of prison life) alive
  • During the Potato Famine people would commit crimes so they would end up in this prison. Once you visit, you'll understand how desperate they must have been!
Description

Wicklow's Historic Gaol features interactive displays, and holographic projections detailing the fascinating and macabre history of this penitentiary. The words "Wicklow Gaol" would once strike fear in the heart of anyone within earshot. It's now County Wicklow's most popular tourist attraction.

From the 1798 Rebellion (or Rising) to the Great Famine of the 1840s and the Independence Era (1916-1923) and beyond, Wicklow Gaol has seen more than its fair share of incarcerations. It was once known for brutality, overcrowding and corruption.

Now a museum, a visit here is a compelling journey into Ireland's difficult past. Fortunately, thanks to the detailed educational experience it's now one of Ireland's top tourist attractions. It's also one of the world's most haunted buildings, so keep your eyes and ears out for spectral shadows and ghostly mists.

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Ticket features
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Smartphone tickets accepted
What's included
  • Entrance to the Wicklow’s Historic Gaol
  • Audio guide
Instructions

Show your ticket at the entrance. Don't forget to pick up your free audio guide!

Opening Hours

  • Daily, 10:30 - 16:30 (last admission)
  • Closed on Good Friday and during Christmas Holidays

Getting There

  • From Dublin, Dun Laoghaire, Greystones, or Bray: Train with destination Rosslare Harbour, get off at Wicklow. From the train station, walk (20-30 min) or take a taxi
  • From Dublin City Center: Bus Eireann, line 133 from George’s Quay or Kildare Street to Wicklow
Cancellation

Cancellations are not possible for this ticket.

Venue
Address
Wicklow’s Historic Gaol
Kilmantin Hill, Wicklow Town, County Wicklow
Key info
Wheelchair accessible
The ground floor is fully accessible, the upper and lower floors are not, due to narrow stairs.
Audio guide
In English, French, German, Spanish, and Italian
Reviews
Aug 13, 2017
Arrived on a Friday afternoon and just made the introductory talk. I have been here a good number of times when our kids were younger, when there were actors conducting the tours. Now you get the introductory talk and then you go from one numbered site to the next. There are voice activated recordings in some of the jail cells, which allow you to understand that character's experience in Wicklow jail. The entire experience is terrific and well done. You come out of the jail with a very good idea of its past history. For kids, there are quizzes that they can do as they move around the building.
The schoolroom in the lower floor is gone (as a teacher I always enjoyed this room), and the spooky cells off it are gone also. This room looks like it's now used for 'events'.
Even though the present set up is still well-worth the visit, I think that the absence of actors/characters which brought the history alive, particularly for kids, is missed. As I said we brought our kids here many years ago, when there were actors present, and they loved it!
In our present society where face to face contact is becoming less and less frequent, I think that history comes alive with people/characters there to tell you face to face their story.
Jul 25, 2017
Loved it great family day out, only thing is when we got to the ship part up the top my daughter became very uneasy , couldnt breathe and became sick, after leaving that area she was fine again , when we got back downstairs we read that some women have experienced that same feeling up there, spooky haha, highly recommend it
Jul 23, 2017
Worth while visiting for families and well worth the money....will be going again
Jul 18, 2017
The tour of the Gaol was excellent but trying to find it was not good. Very poor sign posting.

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