Old Crown Court & Cells
58-60 High West Street
Dorset DT1 1UZ
Many visitors to Dorchester come because of some family connection - perhaps the transportation of a distant ancestor to the Colonies.
It is more than likely that such transportation was ordered in this old Crown Court and that the ancestor was held in the cells below the court. These historic places can be visited on a guided tour.
The old Crown Court is best known for being the place where, in 1834, the Tolpuddle Martyrs were tried and sentenced. The building dates from 1797 and inscribed on the wall beside the entrance are the distances to the nearest towns. Notice that the inscription is high enough for stage coach passengers to read!
Your experienced guide will bring 200 years of harsh justice and punishment alive. You can take your place in the dock, and sit in the dimly lit cells beneath where you would have been held pending your appearance before the judge.
Plan Your Visit
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Opening Times & Costs
The Courtroom and Cells are open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Guided Tours last 50 minutes and tickets are available from the Dorchester TIC Tel: +44 (0)1305 267 992.
For current information on opening times, admission costs and special events go to Web: Old Crown Courts (External Link)
Access to cells by guided tour only. Tours are conducted in English however, audio guides are available in Danish, Swedish, French, German and Spanish. Toilets are available.
Contact & Further Information
+44 (0)1305 267 992
The court and cells are situated in the main High Street and can be entered via Stratton House, West Dorset District Council offices.
There is excellent 'Getting There' directions under 'Location' on the Old Crown Court website.
Google Map - Old Crown Court and Cells