Oxford Castle and Prison

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

Ashmolean Museum

Ashmolean Museum

Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology in Oxford was founded in 1683, Ashmolean Museum is the oldest public museum in the World and has one of the most important Arts and archaeology collections, Ashmolean Museum received a £61 Million interior renovation which expanded the Museum into 39 new galleries

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Bodleian Library

Bodleian Library In Oxford

Bodleian Library was established at the University of Oxford by Thomas de Cobham and is the main research library of the University, Bodleian Library is one of the oldest in Europe and second largest library in Britain, Bodleian Library is composed of five buildings, Bodleian Library archives were digitised for public access

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22 Interesting Facts About Oxford

Oxford facts

Interesting facts about Oxford


  1. The University of Oxford is the Worlds Second Oldest University.

  2. The Name Oxford comes from the World Oxanforda, which means cattle crossing.

  3. During the Civil War from 1642 to 1646, Oxford was the Capital of England.

  4. During the World War II, England was never bombed because Hitler was intending to use Oxford as his Capital if he conquered England.

  5. Rowan Atkinson (Mr Bean) went to Oxford University.

  6. 27 British Prime Ministers were educated at Oxford University.

  7. The Oxford Motto is “Fortis est veritas” which means “The truth is strong”.

  8. The People of Oxford are known as Oxonian.

  9. Oxford was used as a filming location for Harry Potter and Actress Emma Watson (Hermione Granger in Harry Potter) went to school here.

  10. Oxford has its own use for a comma, known as the Oxford Comma and is used after conduction in a list of three or more.

  11. The first colleges of Oxford opened in the 13th century, however, no female students were allowed until 1878.

  12. Roger Bannister, who was a Medical student at Oxford, was the first person to run a mile in less than four minutes. His time was 3mins 59.4 seconds.

  13. There are 38 individual colleges and 5 private halls at Oxford.

  14. Famous English rock band Radiohead was formed while attending the Abingdon School in Oxford.

  15. Oxford’s Botanic Garden is the oldest in the World, Founded in 1621 as a Physic Garden.

  16. The oldest Music performance hall in Europe is located in Oxford, the Holywell Music Room, which was built in 1748.

  17. Since 1478 Books have been printed in Oxford.

  18. Oxford has more published writers per square mile, than anywhere in the World.

  19. Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum was the first Museum in the World to be opened to the public, officially opened in 1683.

  20. Oxford was ranked first in the world in the Times Higher Education, World University Rankings for 2017 and 2018.

  21. During the Medieval times, students at Oxford University were not allowed to marry by the rules of the church, this is why the first degrees awarded is called “Bachelor of Arts”.

  22. The Bodleian Library is the Second largest Library in England.

Photographs of Oxford

photos of Oxford

Oxford is located in the central southern England, its well known for its University that dates back to the 12th century.

Information and statistics 

Time zone GMT (UTC0)
Postcode: OX1, OX2, OX3, OX4
Area code: 01865
Founded 8th century
City status 1542
Official website: www.oxford.gov.uk


photos of Oxford photos of Oxford photos of Oxford photos of Oxford photos of Oxford photos of Oxford photos of Oxford photos of Oxford photos of Oxford photos of Oxford


Oxford, South East England Region, England

Coordinates: 51°45′7″N 1°15′28″W