Debtors Prison Curator led Tour

Debtors Prison Curator led Tour

Join York Castle Museum’s Dr Faye Prior for a special tour of the Debtors’ Prison, the first custom-built jail for debtors in the country.

With specially designed accommodation for debtors, cells for felons and a chapel it was built to impress, but most prison inspectors who visited found it anything but impressive. The tour will lead you through the building, revealing hidden features, exploring how the prison changed over the two centuries it was in operation, and will tell the stories of some of the people who lived, worked and died here.

This tour is for older teens and adults, and includes subjects that some might find challenging. It is not suitable for children or younger teens.

The tour will be socially distanced. Please note that this tour is stairs access only and is not suitable for people with reduced mobility and will include indoor and outdoor spaces. Please dress for the weather.

Upcoming dates: 9th & 16th December

Tickets: £18 per person

Book your tickets here.


To open safely we’re running guided tours led by our experts to carefully manage the number of visitors, therefore visitors will need to arrive just 5 minutes before your booked time slot, and leave the building once the tour is finished.

  • Please be aware that because of the new restrictions in York, you should only book up to six tickets for people who are part of your own household or support bubble.  If you reside in a Tier 3 area, for the safety of everyone, we advise you not to book.
  • Your ticket is for the tours only. With current guidelines we are only operating tours rather than standard museum entry to make the experience as safe as possible. Once your tour is finished you will need to exit the museum.
  • Please book one ticket per person – children under five don’t need a ticket.
  • When booking your tickets please select the amount of tickets needed for your whole group. If you cannot select the full amount of tickets required then unfortunately there are not enough tickets available.
  • All bookings for the tours are non-refundable.
  • We would ask that visitors wear a face covering when visiting the museum.
  • If you’re more than 10 minutes late for your timeslot, unfortunately we won’t be able to guarantee entry. This is to help us keep the tours running on time and to keep everyone safe by maintaining visitor numbers at the required levels.
  • Please have your printed ticket or ticket confirmation email on your device ready to show staff.
  • We have made some changes at the museum to make your visit as safe and as relaxing as possible. This means that some things may be different than you’re used to. Please follow the advice and guidance of our Visitor Experience Team, who will be happy to answer any queries.
  • Please follow social distancing and government guidelines.
  • Please check our website for all updates and current museum opening times.