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While Dunoon, home town to Knockdow House, has without doubt got plenty to see and do, when you step out further afield you’ll find so much to explore. From wildlife to history, there is a great deal to see and do in this part of Scotland, no matter your interests or preferences.

Introducing Inverary Jail

Inveraray, Argyll, is home to Inverary Jail, a fascinating museum that brings to life the stories of many men, women and children who were held prisoner at this notorious 19th century jail almost two centuries ago.  

This meticulously preserved jail and courtroom is considered one of the finest in the world, and is well worth a visit. It features a wide array of historic buildings, all of which are acted out by costumed characters who bring the jail’s past to life.

Begin your journey in the Torture, Death and Damnation exhibition, where you will discover some of the many horrendous methods used by guards to torture inmates. From hot irons and thumbscrews to the whipping table, you’ll witness gruesome torture methods used long before the days of civilised imprisonment and courts.

Swiftly move on to face the judge in the jail’s spectacular courtroom. Here you will take a seat amongst other witnesses as you listen to extracts from real trails that were held in this room more than 150 years ago.

Once the sentence is passed it’s time to head down to the Old Prison where cramped and dirty cells were the norm. Young children and dangerous criminals were housed together in overcrowded cells, where life was made a misery by the stern wardens. Here, you will learn about several prisoners who were housed here, from those transported to Australia to those who served time for minor crimes, such as stealing vegetables. 

In 1848, the New Prison was built with updated facilities, including wooden beds and hammocks. Prisoners will still made to work hard and visitors can try out the infamous crank wheel, which some prisoners had to turn thousands of times a day.

There is so much to learn here while the authentically costumed prisoners and guards will bring a touch of realism to your visit.

Leaving the Prison

If you’ve survived your time in prison, then no visit to Inveraray Jail is complete without exploring Argyll. With its spectacular coastline, nature and wildlife, there is a great deal to discover in this magical part of Scotland.

Knockdow House is an historical property dating back to the 18th century. It was previously maintained by Clan Lamont, one of Scotland’s oldest clans, and is today privately owned.