The Old Police Cells Museum Brighton

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Areas served:

South East

The Old Police Cells Museum Town Hall Bartholemew Square, Brighton, Sussex, BN1 1JA

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8 to 10 years, 11 to 13 years, 14 to 16 years, College, University

The Old Police Cells Museum for Sussex Police is housed in the basement of Brighton Town Hall. It offers visitors a unique insight into the history of Sussex Police.

Listed under: Day Trip Destinations | Sociology | Citizenship | History | Historic Buildings | Historical Heritage | Museums | Themed Attraction | Law

What we offer

Housed within Brighton's working Town Hall, the Old Police Cells Museum is set in the original Police Station which served from the early 1830s when policemen were marched in their blue tailcoats and top hats to their beats. The cells have constrained suspects from many of the County's most notable crimes including two 'Trunk Murderers' various thieves and vagabonds, the murderer of the Chief Constable in 1844 and even a serving Chief Constable in 1957. Visitors can see photographs, artifacts and memorabilia from nearly two hundred years of policing, including graffiti from the era of the 'Mods and Rockers'. Tour commentaries are provided by knowledgeable volunteer guides. Young visitors can dress up in genuine uniforms and get 'locked up' for a memorable photo-opportunity. They may even bump into one of several ghosts, said to wander the gloomy corridors.

What makes us a great choice?

Sometimes described as Brighton's best kept secret, the Old Police Cells Museum has retained the atmosphere and nature of its former life as a working police station between the 1820s and 1967 when it was vacated by the police.

What is typically included?

We do not recommend visits by pupils younger than year 4.

Groups larger than 15 are generally divided, a guide to each group, and visit the three main sections of the Museum in rotation. The three sections are the sub-basement, female cell area and the male cell area.

Commentaries by the volunteer guides are aimed at an appropriate level for students.

A visit can be used as an enrichment for subjects such as 'crime and punishment' 'the Victorians', 'history of policing' and many more. The information given can be biased towards a particular subject area.

We have three short optional activities that can be added. They are entitled 'Crime and Punishment', 'Police Dogs' and the third is based on the 'Photofit' identification system.

Group Sizes Catered For

Up to 45 including accompanying adults

Photography, Filming & Audio Restrictions


Risk Assessment Details

A basic risk assessment is available on request from the:

Private Visits Coordinator

Old Police Cells Museum

via email from info@oldpolicecellsmuseum.org.uk

Education Officer Information

There is no Educational Officer but questions may be directed to:

Private Visits Coordinator

Old Police Cells Museum

via email from info@oldpolicecellsmuseum.org.uk

Pricing Information

We ask for a donation of £2 per student. Supervising adults go free.

Clothing Requirements

No specific clothing is required. There is space available to store outdoor coats, bags etc. during visits

First Aid Information

The venue is within Brighton Town Hall where they have nominated first aiders

Available Facilities

There is a small merchandising station with police-related souvenirs from £1.50-£5. We have accommodated packed lunching on an 'unofficial' basis. Toilets are located in the body of the Town Hall.

Accessibility & Disabled Facilities

The Museum is on two main levels. The first is reached down a 22 step stone staircase with handrail. Only the male cell area, which is approximately one third of the exhibition space, is reachable via a lift. The female cell area may be reached from the male over two pairs of steps while the sub-basement is a further flight of steps down.

Opening Hours & Information

Access to the Museum is dependent upon the working hours of the Town Hall, meaning that no visits can be arranged on weekends or bank holidays.

Tours may be arranged throughout the year to commence at or after 11.30am but no later than 3.30pm. Tours can take approximately 1-1? hours.

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