Old Gaol Museum, Buckingham
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
The Old Gaol is one of the most easily recognisable buildings in historic Buckingham. It dates from 1748, but it now houses a wonderful museum which explores the history of Buckingham and the military heritage of Buckinghamshire.
The museum occupies part of the old cell block and the prison courtyard. The original 18th-century cells form themed display areas, among which are Tudor and Georgian Buckingham, as well as an Edwardian shop and mementoes of Florence Nightingale.
There are displays of rural life in the area, and a special room set aside for an exhibition of the life and times of Flora Thompson, author of A Lark Rise to Candleford. Thompson's work portrayed in exquisite detail her youth growing up the rural society of late Victorian Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire.
On display are dioramas depicting the author writing, and as a child in the poor hamlet of Juniper Hill (the Lark Rise made famous in her book).
The unusual building was created to resemble a castle, with bristling parapets. The original gaol was remodelled in 1839 by famed Victorian architect Sir George Gilbert Scott.
We found the museum very friendly and informal; a very relaxed and enjoyable way to learn about Buckingham and the area. And they were very helpful in pointing us to other things to see in the town.
About Old Gaol
Address: Market Hill, Buckingham, Buckinghamshire, England, MK18 1JX
Attraction Type: Museum
Location: in the town centre. Parking in the Waitrose car park in Cornwalls Meadow.
Website: Old Gaol
OS: SP696 341
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
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Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low to exceptional) on historic interest
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Chetwode, St Mary & St Nicholas - 4 miles (Historic Church)
Claydon House - 5.6 miles (Historic House)
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