Dorchester Old Court and Cells

 

Overview

Dorchester Old Court and Cells Ghost Hunt – Bring over 200 years of justice and injustice to life. Walk in the footsteps of people whose lives were forever changed in the historic court at Dorchester’s Shire Hall. Immerse yourself in the cells and ascend to the dock.

Dorchester Old Court and Cells Ghost Hunt, Dorchester, Dorset

With links to Judge Jeffery’s – known by many as the Hanging Judge through his ruthlessness in sentencing prisoners’ to hang – Dorchester Shire Hall is one of those locations which has more than just a dark atmosphere, it has lots of  history too!

Known to many as Dorchester Shire Hall, This courthouse and below street level cells with original prisoner graffiti is a location Haunted Houses Events loves to investigate, and we KNOW that you will too! But don’t take our word for it … Come and find out for yourself.

Your ghost hunt at Dorchester Old Court and Cells will see you exploring all of the areas of the building made available. You will be able to experience Victorian-style vigils – such as glass divination, table tipping and a group human pendulum experiment. Plus, for those brave enough Ouija boards will also be on hand for you to use to aid your communication with the resident spirits.

For those who like to use modern ghost hunting gadgets when investigating the paranormal, you will be able to use a whole host of the most up-to-date ghost hunting gadgets whilst you carry out your ghost hunt. A firm favourite for many is to take part in spirit call-outs, where you sit silently in the dark, asking for a spirit to perform or repeat your knocks on a table, your whistles etc .. and then wait to see what happens in the silence that follows. Will you get some taps back from Spirit?

Haunted Houses likes to work in intimate sized groups to give you the very best experience possible and we know that you will too. For the very brave amongst our ghost hunters, a lone vigil (ghost hunting in a room or area all alone) is a very popular activity, and plenty of opportunities to do so are available – You only have to ask your host to arrange this for you.

This ghost hunt location is known today as Shire Hall Historic Courthouse Museum, Will you be joining our experienced team of ghost hunters on this ghost hunting night to remember!

www.haunted-houses.co.uk

Would you like to stay over in Dorchester and explore more of the city? FIND HOTELS 

Reported Ghosts

Many come to Dorchester to follow the story of “Hanging” Judge Jeffreys, and the Bloody Assizes. The obvious place to start following his history is at his old lodgings at 6 High West Street.

A little along High West Street you will find Dorcherster Shire Hall, home of the courthouse and a jail. The Shire Hall is said to be haunted by Jeffreys’ ghost, and in 2010 paranormal investigators captured a photograph that they claimed showed the ghostly figure of the Judge stalking the corridors of the museum.
Over the years there have been 100’s of cases where prisoners have sat below the streets in cells, awaiting their judgement and fate, with stories of many taking their own lives in their cells to escape an even crueller end.

During recent renovations, workmen have given reports of tools being found in places in obscure places, as if being moved around and placed overnight by unseen hands. Strange sounds have been heard including wall scrapes and footsteps.

Local fossil collector Mary Anning is said to of been seen here, where a photograph was taken of a woman with a cape going round her shoulders, although we cannot find documentation Mary had any ties to the Shire Hall it is interesting to hear and should be looked into on an investigation here.

Venue History

Dorchester Shire Hall is an 18th Century courthouse on High West Street in Dorchester, Dorset. Built in 1796 and designed by Thomas Hardwick. Today it is known as the ‘Shire Hall Historic Courthouse Museum’ and is a grade I listed building.

The Shire Hall was the central seat of law and order and was the primary location of the Dorset magistracy. It was also home to local government serving as a base for the Dorset County Council until 1955.

The Hall we see today is the second Shire Hall. An earlier building acting as the Shire Hall had fallen into disrepair by 1769, which had been in use during the Jacobean and Stuart era which ran from 1603 to 1714. Until the new build was completed, the Town and County justice sessions where held at a local public house called The Antelope. Which is the famous location for the Bloody Assizes; where the infamous Judge Jefferys sentenced 251 men to death by execution.

Dorchester Shire Hall managed local law and order in it’s full capacity until 1955, when the new county hall and crown court was opened giving more modern and usable settings

One of the most famous trials held at the hall was that of the ‘Tolpuddle Martyrs’ in 1834. The six Dorset agricultural labourers were arrested for swearing a secret oath as members of the Friendly Society of Agricultural Labourers, which they had formed to bargain for better wages. On 18 March 1834, the Tolpuddle Martyrs were sentenced to penal transportation to Australia. The sentence sparked public outrage, resulting in a petition of 800,000 signatures demanding their release and a 100,000-strong demonstration in London. All were pardoned, on condition of good conduct, in March 1836, with the support of Lord John Russell, who had recently become Home Secretary. A plaque on the front of Shire Hall commemorates the centenary of the commemorating the trial.

Thomas Hardy, the novelist and poet, served as a magistrate at Shire Hall. He had been made Justice of the Peace for the Borough of Dorchester from 1884, sitting in court on almost forty occasions from then to 1919. Hardy’s experience as a magistrate provided inspiration for his writing. Including his famous novel “Tess of the D’Urbervilles” inspired by the story of Dorchester’s last ever execution on Saturday 9th August 1856 at Dorchester Prison; where Elizabeth Martha Brown was hung until dead by William Calcraft, Who was Britain’s principal executioner from 1829 -1874, and the longest serving hangman of all.

  • Shire Hall ,
  • High West Street,
  • Dorchester ,
  • Dorset,
  • DT1 1UY
  • 8:30 pm
  • -
  • 2:30 am
  • (Arrive for 8:15 pm)
  • This is a ticketless event, please sign in on arrival

Dorchester Old Court and Cells Ghost Hunt, Dorchester, Dorset

With links to Judge Jeffery’s – known by many as the Hanging Judge through his ruthlessness in sentencing prisoners’ to hang – Dorchester Shire Hall is one of those locations which has more than just a dark atmosphere, it has lots of  history too!

Known to many as Dorchester Shire Hall, This courthouse and below street level cells with original prisoner graffiti is a location Haunted Houses Events loves to investigate, and we KNOW that you will too! But don’t take our word for it … Come and find out for yourself.

Your ghost hunt at Dorchester Old Court and Cells will see you exploring all of the areas of the building made available. You will be able to experience Victorian-style vigils – such as glass divination, table tipping and a group human pendulum experiment. Plus, for those brave enough Ouija boards will also be on hand for you to use to aid your communication with the resident spirits.

For those who like to use modern ghost hunting gadgets when investigating the paranormal, you will be able to use a whole host of the most up-to-date ghost hunting gadgets whilst you carry out your ghost hunt. A firm favourite for many is to take part in spirit call-outs, where you sit silently in the dark, asking for a spirit to perform or repeat your knocks on a table, your whistles etc .. and then wait to see what happens in the silence that follows. Will you get some taps back from Spirit?

Haunted Houses likes to work in intimate sized groups to give you the very best experience possible and we know that you will too. For the very brave amongst our ghost hunters, a lone vigil (ghost hunting in a room or area all alone) is a very popular activity, and plenty of opportunities to do so are available – You only have to ask your host to arrange this for you.

This ghost hunt location is known today as Shire Hall Historic Courthouse Museum, Will you be joining our experienced team of ghost hunters on this ghost hunting night to remember!

www.haunted-houses.co.uk

Would you like to stay over in Dorchester and explore more of the city? FIND HOTELS 

Dorchester Shire Hall is an 18th Century courthouse on High West Street in Dorchester, Dorset. Built in 1796 and designed by Thomas Hardwick. Today it is known as the ‘Shire Hall Historic Courthouse Museum’ and is a grade I listed building.

The Shire Hall was the central seat of law and order and was the primary location of the Dorset magistracy. It was also home to local government serving as a base for the Dorset County Council until 1955.

The Hall we see today is the second Shire Hall. An earlier building acting as the Shire Hall had fallen into disrepair by 1769, which had been in use during the Jacobean and Stuart era which ran from 1603 to 1714. Until the new build was completed, the Town and County justice sessions where held at a local public house called The Antelope. Which is the famous location for the Bloody Assizes; where the infamous Judge Jefferys sentenced 251 men to death by execution.

Dorchester Shire Hall managed local law and order in it’s full capacity until 1955, when the new county hall and crown court was opened giving more modern and usable settings

One of the most famous trials held at the hall was that of the ‘Tolpuddle Martyrs’ in 1834. The six Dorset agricultural labourers were arrested for swearing a secret oath as members of the Friendly Society of Agricultural Labourers, which they had formed to bargain for better wages. On 18 March 1834, the Tolpuddle Martyrs were sentenced to penal transportation to Australia. The sentence sparked public outrage, resulting in a petition of 800,000 signatures demanding their release and a 100,000-strong demonstration in London. All were pardoned, on condition of good conduct, in March 1836, with the support of Lord John Russell, who had recently become Home Secretary. A plaque on the front of Shire Hall commemorates the centenary of the commemorating the trial.

Thomas Hardy, the novelist and poet, served as a magistrate at Shire Hall. He had been made Justice of the Peace for the Borough of Dorchester from 1884, sitting in court on almost forty occasions from then to 1919. Hardy’s experience as a magistrate provided inspiration for his writing. Including his famous novel “Tess of the D’Urbervilles” inspired by the story of Dorchester’s last ever execution on Saturday 9th August 1856 at Dorchester Prison; where Elizabeth Martha Brown was hung until dead by William Calcraft, Who was Britain’s principal executioner from 1829 -1874, and the longest serving hangman of all.

Many come to Dorchester to follow the story of “Hanging” Judge Jeffreys, and the Bloody Assizes. The obvious place to start following his history is at his old lodgings at 6 High West Street.

A little along High West Street you will find Dorcherster Shire Hall, home of the courthouse and a jail. The Shire Hall is said to be haunted by Jeffreys’ ghost, and in 2010 paranormal investigators captured a photograph that they claimed showed the ghostly figure of the Judge stalking the corridors of the museum.
Over the years there have been 100’s of cases where prisoners have sat below the streets in cells, awaiting their judgement and fate, with stories of many taking their own lives in their cells to escape an even crueller end.

During recent renovations, workmen have given reports of tools being found in places in obscure places, as if being moved around and placed overnight by unseen hands. Strange sounds have been heard including wall scrapes and footsteps.

Local fossil collector Mary Anning is said to of been seen here, where a photograph was taken of a woman with a cape going round her shoulders, although we cannot find documentation Mary had any ties to the Shire Hall it is interesting to hear and should be looked into on an investigation here.

  • Feel safe! Hosted by a friendly, genuine, safety conscience, and knowledgeable team of experienced people
  • Experience the atmosphere! Enter one of the UK’s most haunted buildings, communicating with its resident spirits and ghosts in the dark
  • Honesty is our only policy! This is a real ghost hunt experience. There is no faking or trickery of paranormal activity. If it happens, then it is for real!
  • Keep refreshed! Unlimited hot and cold drinks, crisps and biscuits available all night and included in the ticket price unless specified. Dietary requirements also catered for
  • Teamwork! Your ghost hunt will be run in a small and personal group giving you maximum involvement
  • Be hands on! You will have access to everything you need to conduct your experiments throughout the night – no sharing equipment with other groups or waiting around
  • Don’t be disturbed! Exclusive night-time access to the location for your overnight ghost hunt
  • Learn about various ghost hunting techniques and try them out for yourself on your investigation or share any knowledge you already possess to aid the investigation
  • Discover more about the high-tech ghost hunting gadgets. Many as seen on T.V, hold them in your hands and freely use them
  • Take part! Help to lead a scientific vigil, or perhaps a more traditional ghost hunting experiment- or simply just be an observer. The choice is yours
  • Working respectfully. Start your evening by learning how to apply spiritual protection, and work using the upmost respect for the sprits we encounter and fellow guests
  • All attendees must be 18 years or older
  • Not suitable for those in pregnancy
  • This is a very dark location, all attendees must bring a torch with them
  • All attendees are expected to wear sensible shoes and warm layered clothing
  • This location has no onsite carpark. Parking is either street parking or public car park (fee may apply)
  • Refreshments are provided by Haunted Houses Events and are included in the price
  • Guests may also bring own personal breaktime snacks
  • This is not a sleepover event
  • This location is suitable for wheelchair users or those with mobility issues
  • This location has a lift to all levels
  • This location has disabled WC facilities

Dorchester Old Court and Cells

£45.00 Per Person

Dorchester Old Court and Cells Ghost Hunt - Bring over 200 years of justice and injustice to life. Walk in the footsteps of people whose lives were forever changed in the historic court at Dorchester’s Shire Hall. Immerse yourself in the cells and ascend to the dock.

  • 8:30 pm
  • -
  • 2:30 am
  • Dorchester ,
  • Dorset
  • This is a TICKETLESS event

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