Do some time at Belfast’s historic jail
Once things have returned to normal and we’re free to travel again we recommend a visit to Crumlin Road Jail, also known as HMP Belfast for a lock-in rather than lockdown experience!
A former prison situated on the Crumlin Road in North Belfast, Northern Ireland. The building is Grade A listed due to its architectural and historical significance. Across the road from the jail is Crumlin Road Courthouse which is currently derelict however there are plans for a hotel. You will also be able to visit the tunnel which links the two buildings on the tour.
Crumlin Road Jail is based on the design of HMP Prison Pentonville by Architect Sir Charles Lanyon. Constructed in 1845. Built within a five-sided wall, the four wings are up to four storeys in height and fan off from the central area which was known as ‘The Circle’.
You might recognise the interior of the prison from TV. The Dublin murders was recently filmed here. If you see steel doors in a prison scene, the chances are that it was filmed here.
Originally built to hold between 500 and 550 prisoners, the cells measure 12 x 7 feet. By the time the 1970s arrived each cell held 3 people!
A view of the tunnel which links the jail with the courthouse.
When the prison was originally constructed, there wasn’t an area for gallows, so executions were carried out in public until 1901 when an execution chamber was constructed.
Robert McGladdery was the last person to be hanged at the jail in 1961 for the murder of Pearl Gamble. The bodies of the executed were buried inside the prison in unconsecrated ground, against the back wall beside the prison hospital.
Look out for the names on the wall showing where the bodies were buried.
There are also two places to eat on you visit, Cuffs Restaurant serving full meals such as Irish Stew and a smaller cafe which sells snackable food.
Crumlin Road Jail
53-55 Crumlin Rd,
Telephone 028 9074 1500
Looking for some food whilst visiting Belfast?