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The Fauquier History Museum at the Old Jail

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Address: 10 Ashby St, Warrenton, VA 20186-3201
Phone Number:
+1 540-347-5525
Website
Today
10:00 - 16:00
Open now
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Hours:
Wed - Mon 10:00 - 16:00
Description:

Built in 1808, the front portion of the jail originally contained four...

Built in 1808, the front portion of the jail originally contained four cells, each of which was approved to house 40 prisoners. In 1823, after only 15 years of use, the 1808 jail was deemed insufficient and a new stone jail was built just to the rear of the older structure. The 1808 jail was then converted into a house for the jailor with a kitchen made of the leftover stones from the "New Jail" added in 1823. The rear structure contains original cells as well as an exercise yard, which was also used as a hanging yard. Hangings took place in the yard until 1896. This is one of the most perfectly preserved old jails in the Commonwealth, and was operated as a jail until 1966.

Today, the Old Jail is a history museum focusing on the histories of the Town of Warrenton, Fauquier County, and the Commonwealth of Virginia. The artifacts that make up the museum's exhibitions have all been donated by generous local citizens.

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Interesting history

This is a small place but packed with local history. The living conditions for people jailed there were deplorable.

Reviewed 2 September 2016
Jan Y

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57 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 57: English reviews
Level Contributor
4 reviews
Reviewed 2 September 2016

This is a small place but packed with local history. The living conditions for people jailed there were deplorable.

Helpful?
Thank Jan Y
Alexandria, Virginia
Level Contributor
291 reviews
119 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 August 2016

The museum is in the old jail which makes the setting enhance the exhibit. Very informative and worth a visit.

Helpful?
Thank Travelwestport
Darlington, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
26 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 August 2016

We had a real nice guided tour of the jail ,It was nice hearing about the past history including the ghosts . The picture of the jail cells are real strange that i took.

Helpful?
Thank Gerald M
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 August 2016

What a cool place! If you are visiting Warrenton you absolutely have to see this museum. For just a few dollars, you can walk all around the museum, see different artifacts from the town's history and even visit the site where they had actual hangings. The mock jail upstairs was incredible and the wax figures could give you quite a... More 

Helpful?
Thank sherryk224
Norfolk, Virginia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 August 2016

This old jail was so interesting. The cost was $2. This is a must see. Very informative and the history lesson that is given was great.

Helpful?
Thank Judovf
Level Contributor
42 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 July 2016 via mobile

The jails have been well maintained but have updated beyond resemblance of the their roots. The exterior gives a true sense of the era and the newer jail still has the hanging platform in the yard. There is no need for a guided tour as it shouldn't take more than thirty minutes to properly tour both jails. Any questions you... More 

Helpful?
Thank Christina S
MaggieLovitt, Manager at The Fauquier History Museum at the Old Jail, responded to this review

You are right, it is difficult to portray an entire county's history in buildings that have been updated since they were built. Our museum is not solely about jail history, as is reflected in the name - The Fauquier History Museum at the Old Jail. Thank you for visiting! More 

Washington, DC
Level Contributor
81 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 July 2016

If you are in the area, have an interest in local history, and have 30-45 minutes to kill, this small museum is worth a visit. It's not extensive, and it's very eclectic (from Native American to the most recent sheriff's election), but it gives you a good sense of what the town considers its history, For $2, that's a worthwhile... More 

Helpful?
Thank JK4321
Gainesville, Virginia
Level Contributor
500 reviews
81 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 132 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 June 2016 via mobile

We were walking around old town and decided to swing in. The $2 admission for adults is more than reasonable to check out on some local history. The original jail is pretty cool and has a lot of local history items and the staff did a great job of giving us a little bit more background. The "newer" jail is... More 

Helpful?
Thank Foreman212
Gettysburg, PA
Level Contributor
54 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 June 2016 via mobile

This museum is so cool . Lots of fun to check out and they have a nice little shop. The criminal history of the area was quite iinteresting. The kids will love it!

Helpful?
Thank Bennysgoats
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 May 2016 via mobile

My parents live in Warrenton so I have visited a few times over the years. It has what you would expect from a small and pleasant, volunteer-operated county museum with the jail to give it a unique edge. Visiting the yard where the gallows used to be and looking into the the old cells is a little creepy, especially with... More 

Helpful?
Thank Jeff S

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