Once upon a time....
The birth of Jailhouse Tours.
In 2013 the ministry of Justice closed 7 prisons, including Shepton Mallet Prison (the oldest working prison in the country.)
Spotting a unique opportunity and concerned that the history of these fantastic buildings would be lost or developed into modern housing, Joel Campbell, (founder of The Campbell Group of Companies), made a bid to purchase Shepton Mallet Prison with a vision to develop it into a world class heritage attraction.
Jailhouse Tours was started in 2015, following the closure and sale of the 7 decommissioned prisons by the MOJ. Jailhouse Tours’ primary aim is to preserve and share the history and heritage of some of the oldest prisons in the country.
Taking over Shrewsbury Prison in 2015 and Shepton Mallet Prison in 2017, Jailhouse Tours is considered the world’s most interactive prison tourism company. We offer our visitors an authentic Georgian, Victorian and modern-day prison experience, led by ex-prison officers with a wealth of experience and time ‘served’.
Over the past 3 years the Jailhouse Tours team have breathed fresh life back into these historic and heritage buildings, which after their closure were left to deteriorate. Visitors are now able to take full advantage of the fantastic facilities and experience first-hand ‘life behind bars’.
Jailhouse Tours offers a wide range of tours, events, activities, team building days and private hire opportunities. Our offering is a completely unique experience, encouraging, educating and enthusing visitors to come back time and time again.