We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Map
Satellite
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Get directions
Address: York, ME
Phone Number: +1 207-363-4974
Description:

America's first prison, built in 1719.

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 19 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 10
    Excellent
  • 6
    Very good
  • 2
    Average
  • 0
    Poor
  • 0
    Terrible
A national treasure

Construction of the stone dungeon began in 1719 and was subsequently extended at various times. Thanks to the foresight of residents, it was saved from demolition and opened as a... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 21 August 2016
mouseHerts
,
Herts
Add Photo Write a Review

19 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language
Showing 18: English reviews
Herts
Level Contributor
818 reviews
501 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 322 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 August 2016

Construction of the stone dungeon began in 1719 and was subsequently extended at various times. Thanks to the foresight of residents, it was saved from demolition and opened as a museum in 1900. It is fascinating to see the cells, old courtroom and gaoler's parlour. There is an information leaflet that takes you around the building, and there are facts... More 

Helpful?
Thank mouseHerts
Pittsburgh, Pa
Level Contributor
210 reviews
95 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 August 2016

We toured the old Gaol following the Emerson Wilcox house and Jeff was our guide. He was full of interesting facts about the old gaol as well as York. It was a self-guided tour. It was amazing the difference in the bottom cells where criminals were and the upper floors where people were only held for owing debts. The bottom... More 

Helpful?
Thank deebug2470
Colorado Springs
Level Contributor
747 reviews
377 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 210 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 August 2016

Pretty cool old building--supposed to have been the first jail in the area--but fascinating history and fun to visit. The dungeon is about 300 years old--not much in the US is that old so cool to visit.

Helpful?
Thank MaryKop
Biddeford, ME
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 September 2015

Not knowing much about jails in general, I went in because the outside gallows intrigued me. I had read this was the first jail constructed in the U.S. at the request of the Crown. The $5 entrance fee was well spent for me since I am fascinated by the evolution of Colonial America. The for the most part self-guided tour... More 

Helpful?
2 Thank Janet8353
Portland, Maine
Level Contributor
189 reviews
105 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 August 2015

what a great old building to explore, with other historic homes nearby. The jail is open to walk through and is located by historic homes and graveyard. There is a small fee but includes the other buildings to see.

Helpful?
1 Thank scott a
York, Maine
Level Contributor
30 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 February 2015

Kids loved having their picture taken while they we "in the stocks". Good history lesson for elementary school kids.

Helpful?
Thank mollycat14
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
226 reviews
81 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 275 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 October 2014

The Old Gaol is a self-guided tour. There was a guide there who stayed outside while we toured. There are plaques that you have to read that give the history of the gaol. The jailer, his wife and children lived on the premises with the prisoners. See how the wealthy prisoners were able to bring their bed and furnishings to... More 

Helpful?
4 Thank bainso
York, Maine
Level Contributor
16 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 September 2014

I've been a interpreter for the Museums of Old York for many years. The Old Gaol is a wonderful place to begin your tour of the first origins of Maine. It is the oldest British public building in the U.S. and the "stone dungeon" dates from 1719. Come see how peoples of the past were punished and compare it to... More 

Helpful?
6 Thank beachgirlybm
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Level Contributor
29 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 October 2013

A very old gaol with a lot of authentic articles in the rooms. Can be disconcerting if you're sensitive to feelings of those who have gone before you and were in unpleasant circumstances.

Helpful?
2 Thank Christina G
Tucson, Arizona
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 September 2013

Very cool look into the 17th and18th century....as with all the York Museums, great guides both friendly and knowledgeable.

Helpful?
1 Thank Wendy W

Travellers who viewed Old Gaol also viewed

 

Been to Old Gaol? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Old Gaol staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?