Oxford Castle and Prison

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Oxford Castle and Prison

Oxford Castle was built in 1071 on earlier Saxon Defences when William the Conqueror took control of England and was victories at the battle of hastings Oxford, he ordered for the castle to be built with a mound, The Castle was left under control of Hereditary constables drawn from the D’Oilly Family.

The Initial castle was made out of earthwork mound and surmounted by wooden palisades, the Motte rises over 60 feet, however, within the next few years Robert d’Oilly built the first stone fortifications, including a stone keep atop the mound.

In the 14th Century, the castle was diminished and the site became primarily used for country administration and as a prison. It saw action during the Anarchy where it was the scene of Matilda’s dramatic escape from King Stephen in the midst of a snowstorm. During the English Civil War, the castle was destroyed.

In the 18th Century, the castle became Oxford’s prison and a new prison complex was built on the site and later expanded in 1876, becoming the HM Prison Oxford. In 1996 the prison closed and was redeveloped into a hotel.

Tours around Oxford Castles are done by guides who dress up in costumed characters and show you around the Saxon Tower, where you can enjoy a stunning 360° views of Oxford and then descent to the dark atmosphere of the 900-year-old underground crypt. You can even experience the Austere confines of the 18th-century debtors’ tower and the Prison D-Wing and wonder at the mound of the 11th-century motte and the Vaulted Well Chamber of Bailey castle.

The medieval remains of the castle, including the motte and St George’s Tower and crypt, are Grade I listed buildings and a Scheduled Monument.

Oxford Castle and Prison
Oxford Castle and Prison

Oxford Castle and Prison Contact Information

Telephone: 01865 260666 | Official Website | Email Address: info@oxfordcastleunlocked.co.uk

How To Get There

Oxford Castle Quater does not have its own carpark, Car parks can be found at Westgate Shopping Centre, Oxpens, Worcester Street and Gloucester Green and are all a short walking distance from Oxford Castle & Prison.

Oxford rail station has regular links to all major UK cities, eight minutes walk from the train station to Oxfords Castle

Gloucester Green bus station is located in the heart of Oxford City Centre in George Street. Once on George Street, turn right and then immediately left and bear left around the corner into New Road. Oxford Castle Quarter is on your right-hand side.

There are plenty of bike racks located behind the Oxfordshire County Council building.

Opening Hours

Monday 10:00 AM – 5:30 PM
Tuesday 10:00 AM – 5:30 PM
Wednesday 10:00 AM – 5:30 PM
Thursday 10:00 AM – 5:30 PM
Friday 10:00 AM – 5:30 PM
Saturday 10:00 AM – 5:30 PM
Sunday 10:00 AM – 5:30 PM

Closed: Christmas Day.


Ticket Type Price
Adults £10.95
Children between 5 and 15 years old £7.75
Under 5 years old Free Entry
Senior/Student £9.25
Family ticket £35.00

All admission tickets get access to the Mound.


  • Opened: 1073
  • Function: Castle
  • Architects: Robert D’Oyly, Daniel Harris
  • Owner: Oxfordshire County Council
  • Architectural styles: Medieval architecture, Norman architecture
  • Materials: Coral rag, Gravel


  • Visit the Ashmolean Museum is an Ancient and modern art and antiquities covering world civilisations, plus fine and applied arts. located only 8 minutes away from Oxford Castle.
  • Carfax Tower, Landmark 23m-high belltower, once part of a 12th-century church, offering city views from the top. located 6 minutes from Oxford Castle.


Nearby places to stay as cheap as possible budget under £100/$100/€100:

  • Central Backpackers Oxford, Museum Hotel Oxford offers accommodation in historic Oxford in a building dating from 1594. The hotel is located a 2-minute walk from Carfax Tower in the centre of Oxford. The University of Oxford colleges is 0.2 miles away. Check Price.
  • YHA Oxford, This YHA hostel is located in the centre of historical Oxford, next to Oxford Train StationYHA Oxford offers affordable accommodation, a restaurant serving traditional meals and self-catering kitchen facilities. Check Price.
  • White House View Guest House, is a 10-minute walk from Oxford city centre and offers a garden and bedrooms with free Wi-Fi and Freeview TV. The guest house is located just off Abingdon Road, in quiet and pleasant surroundings. Check Price.

Nearby places to stay at a budget price over £200+

  • Macdonald Randolph Hotel, In the heart of Oxford, opposite the Ashmolean Museum, The Macdonald Randolph Hotel offers sumptuous bedrooms and a spa. The Randolph Macdonald is just metres from The University of Oxford Colleges.Check Price.
  • Old Parsonage Hotel is a boutique hotel set in a building dating back to 1660. It has 2 terraces, a new residents garden library, a restaurant, a bar, and is a 5-minute walk from Oxford city centre. Check Price.
  • Museum Hotel Oxford, Museum Hotel Oxford offers accommodation in historic Oxford in a building dating from 1594. located a 2-minute walk from Carfax Tower in the centre of Oxford Check Price.

Visiting Oxford? We have other posts that you may enjoy that will be helpful on your trip.


Address: 44-46 Oxford Castle, New Road, Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 1AY  | Coordinations: 51.7517°N 1.2632°W

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Oxford Castle and Prison