Oxford Castle and Prison

Approx. Family Price
£35.00 to £46.00
Take a Look
Oxford Castle and Prison
The Oxford Castle Museum Entrance
The Castle Mound
Steps going down
The Oxford Castle Cafe
Inside the Oxford Castle Cafe

Oxford Castle has the oldest non-religious towers in the country and was built 1000 years ago to help keep the Vikings out of the city. Then the Normans came and turned the tower into a castle.
The castle soon turned into a prison, and remained a prison for many eras, finally closing in the mid-1990s.

Our Review

We popped along to Oxford Castle and Prison while staying at YHA Oxford.

The Oxford Castle Museum Entrance

The Oxford Castle Museum Entrance

We booked onto their award-winning tour, and glad we did; it was excellent and we learnt much more than just wandering around by ourselves.

You also get to walk up the many steps of the oldest building in Oxford: the St. George’s Tower. From the top you get a great panoramic view of the spires of Oxford.

Oxford Castle and Prison

St. George’s tower is the oldest building in Oxford. It was originally built to help keep the Vikings out of the city.

After the tour, you can try out some of the ‘hard labour‘ devices. These were introduced in the Victorian era of the prison and were deliberately pointless. For example, prisoners would work all day pushing a wheel to pump water up to tanks at the top of St. George’s Tower, only for the water to be let out and flow back down again.


Lots of opportunities to put your family members into the stocks.

Outside, there’s also the Castle Mound. This was originally built by the Normans and used to have a tower on top of it, which was destroyed after the English Civil War.

The Castle Mound

The Castle Mound was built by the normans

Your entrance ticket provides you access to climb the mound, which also provides great views of Oxford.

Steps going down

These steps are at the top of the castle mound and lead down to a well that used to serve the keep on the mound.

Considering the entrance prices of many attractions, we found this attraction quite reasonable.

Oxford Castle Cafe

The Oxford Castle Cafe

We really liked sitting in this floating window of the Castle’s cafe.

There’s a cafe too. When we visited, the tour entrance ticket gives you £1 off a hot drink. Something we didn’t realise until after we bought our drinks! Doh!

Inside the Oxford Castle Cafe

This was a great spot to sit in the cafe.

8.5Expert Score
Oxford Castle and Prison Verdict

This was a great visit and one we recommend.

Family Friendly
Value for Money
  • A very informative tour.
  • Reasonable entrance prices for a family.
  • It would be difficult to access with a pushchair.
  • Maybe not for very young children.
  • Not for you if you can't climb a lot of stairs.

Thumbs Up

Planning your visit

Castle & Prison Tour.

Typical cost for a family
£35.00 - £46.00
How to get here

Here’s where you can find Oxford Castle and Prison.

Contact Details

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Oxford Castle & Prison 44-46 Oxford Castle, Oxford, Oxfordshire 0 mi
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