The Tolbooth Museum

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the Tolbooth Museum

The Tolbooth Museum is located in one of the oldest Aberdeen buildings, The museum has displays of the local history, and development of crime and punishment, that happened through the years between the 17th and 18th centuries, and still has the original doors and barred windows.

The Tolbooth Museum can be traced to 1873 when John Forbes White and a number of local art collectors decided to hold a public exhibition to display their collections. Tolbooth opened in 1995. One of the oldest buildings in Aberdeen, which includes 17th-century gaols, this museum traces Aberdeen’s civic history, including the history of crime and punishment. The museum is small in size, however, has a lot of history packed into it.

One of the notable features of the museum is its atmospheric “jail cell” exhibit, which provides a realistic representation of the conditions prisoners would have experienced in the Tolbooth’s earlier days.

the Tolbooth Museum

Telephone:  +44 (0) 1224 621167 | Official Website

If you’re interested in Aberdeen’s history or enjoy exploring museums with a focus on local heritage, the Tolbooth Museum can be a fascinating destination to visit. Keep in mind that museum details, exhibits, and visiting information might change over time, so it’s a good idea to check the most recent information before planning a visit.

How To Get There

  • The nearest Train station is the Aberdeen Station only Five Minutes away.
  • The nearest Ferry Terminal is the Aberdeen Ferry Terminal 22 minutes away.
  • The nearest bus stop is the ‘Castle Street (Stop J2)’ bus services: 1A, N1, 40, 18 and the bridges 1 and the bridges 2 stop here.


Free Entry

Opening Hours

The Tolbooth Museum will remain closed until further notice whilst a comprehensive survey of the historic building is carried out, which will inform a programme of care and maintenance.

Monday10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Tuesday10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Wednesday10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Thursday10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Friday10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Saturday10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Sunday12:00 PM – 3:00 PM


  • No toilets or a cafe are available within The Tolbooth Museum, However, due to Aberdeen Maritime Museum being so close, you can use their facilities.
  • You can download the Museum Floor Plan Guide here: View Floor Plan

The Tolbooth Museum offers visitors a glimpse into the history of Aberdeen and the various roles the building has played throughout the centuries. The museum’s exhibits include historical artefacts, documents, and displays that shed light on the building’s past functions and its importance to the city. Visitors can learn about the justice system, the history of crime and punishment, and the development of Aberdeen over time.


The Tolbooth Museum, Castle Street, Aberdeen, AB11 5BQ | Coordinations:  57.1480°N 2.0951°W

the tolbooth museum
the tolbooth museum