Courts, Cells & Dungeon

Leading directly off The Great Hall are two octagonal courtrooms. Complete with beautiful high domed ceilings and original features they make an ideal location for ceremonies and drinks receptions. A flight of stone steps leads to the atmospheric 17th century dungeon, which dates back to the original county gaol, as well as the more recent holding cells.

The Courts

The Law Courts at The Old Shire Hall were used by the judiciary until 2010. Originally used for assizes and quarter sessions, the courts served as crown and county courts following the Court Act of 1971. The octagonal courtrooms 1 and 2 are identical in style, with elaborately decorated high-domed ceilings and Corinthian columns. The tiered seating surrounds the canopied judge’s chair which still displays the hook upon which the black cap, traditionally worn when passing the death sentence, would hang.

The Cells

Guests are still able to retrace the steps of sentenced prisoners from the dock, through the back of the courtroom and down to the holding cells which were still in use until late November 2010.

The Dungeon

A flight of stone steps leads from the basement to the darkened 17th century dungeon which dates back to the original county gaol. These well-trodden steps were worn down by centuries of prisoners, who were chained to posts and exposed to the elements from a small grated opening above.

Unique photo opportunities

Why not retrace the steps of prisoners from the dock to the holding cells and dungeon for unique photographic opportunities?

Filming & photo-shoots

With a large choice of spaces ranging from historic courtrooms, holding cells, a dungeon, Regency style rooms and The Great Hall, the internal areas of The Old Shire Hall provide perfect backdrops for professional photo-shoots or filming.

Take a Virtual Tour of The Old Shire Hall, including the cells & dungeon

Take the Tour

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