Jedburgh’s Castle Jail was built in the 1820s on the site of the Royal Burgh's medieval castle. The castle was once one of the most important Border strongholds but was destroyed in 1409. The area later served as the site of the town gallows until the building of the Jail.
Jedburgh Castle Jail is the finest example of a Howard reform prison in Scotland, built in line with the latest ideas by the great prison reformer, John Howard.Before this time, prisons were filthy, overcrowded and disease-ridden, with debtors, criminals, children and the unconvicted all crushed together.
The Jail was shut in 1886 and its inmates transferred to Edinburgh. The burgh has used partsof the prison for various purposes over the years and since the 1980s it has been open to the public. The Jailer’s House explores the history of the town, while a visit to the cellblocks gives the visitor a taste of life for wardensand prisoners in the 1800s. You may be glad to return to the present day!
Inside a curtain wall, the prison is laid out as three detached two-storey rectangular blocksradiating from a central building – the jailer’s house. The prison blocks are linked in a U shape arrangement by exercise yards.
In 2004 the first group of paranormal investigators visited the Jail and reported a high levelof unexplained phenonium. Since then The Jail have allowed a limited number of groups to visit on an annual basis.