Stirling Old Town Jail


The Old Tolbooth Jail, considered at that time the worst prison in Britain by Frederick Hill, first Inspector of Prisons for Scotland, was far too crowded. Stirling’s County Prison Board was pressed to build a new County Jail, and this was the main reason for the Stirling Old Town Jail to be built in 1847. Improvements in living conditions were made but the strict regime of solitude, labor, coarse food and discomfort would still have been a deterrent.

The “new” Jail was built following the ‘Separate System’ devised by William Brebner, which means: prisoners were kept separate, to avoid bad influences and distractions. Paid work, food, and education were available to those willing to work, providing convicts with the skills to lead honest, productive lives on their release.

In 1888 the Stirling Old Town Jail was requisitioned, by the War Office, to become the Military Detention Barracks for the Scottish regiments. In September 1935 the Barracks were decommissioned. The Stirling Old Jail was used briefly during World War 2, then as a storage depot for the Caledonian Confectionary Company in the ‘50s, and then the Jail soon fell into disrepair and dereliction until the 1990’s, when the Jail was refurbished and opened for visiting.

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.

For a cheap fare, dorms are the perfect economical option for singles, couples and group backpackers. By booking directly with us, you will always pay 10-15% less than booking on another site.

More information about times and prices: