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OPCM

29 of 161 things to do in Brighton

Speciality Museums, Museums

60 reviews

Visitor rating

Excellent 44

Very good 15

Average 3

 

“Great visit”

Reviewed April 2017

Phil gave our group a very entertaining guided talk. Full of amusement, history and interaction. A very worthwhile visit of an hour and we could have spent longer. Lots to see.

Blambarb

 

“In the clink”

Reviewed April 2017

Interesting selection of old police equipment used in Brighton.truncheons , various types and eras , also helmets . There is a cell and a few books and other pieces of police equipment .

JamesStonhold

 

 “A brief visit”

Reviewed April 2017

I visited the old police cells briefly as I was a guest at a wedding there. They were fun to go to. You could see old police uiforms including the white helmets formerly worn by Brighton Police.

wrichard2013

 

“A great day of local history” Reviewed January 2017

This place is great! As the tours are free, wasn't expecting such an informative and fun tour packed with stories and props and costumes. Our tour guide Phil was fantastic -- super knowledgable, friendly, and clearly loving his job. This place is certainly a must, especially for locals!

haruko c

 

“Very interesting place/”

Visited November 2016 Came on a tour here. Some very interesting stories of murder and other crimes. Such a great time here.

jimbob93983

“Marvellous”Visited October 2016 You need to pre-book as the tour is limited numbers and only available certain dates. The person who carries out the tour is a retired police officer and very knowledge and keen to let you know a lot of information. A fascinating insight into the Police of old and some great memorabilia, a truly unique place to visit, lasts about 90 minutes and its free (so give a donation, there is a box at the end).

TeamWard

 “A visit to a type of place you've hopefully not visited before”

Visited October 2016 I'm always fascinated by things a bit different and by social history, so was delighted to be able to join the tour around the old police station in Brighton Town Hall.

The tour was led by a retired police officer volunteer, who regaled us with little anecdotes about the cells and his own police career.
Tour took around an hour and I would like to thank our guide for his interesting imput and unpaid time.

Belinda Jane B

  

“A perfect insight!”

 Visited October 2016

We have just been to this museum and found it very informative and enjoyable.
Our guide was very polite and answered all questions. There were approx 12 of us in the group of mixed ages.
We were told about the history of the town hall and then shown down to the cells. In each cell is a collection of memorabilia and information dating all the way back to the time of first use. We were amazed that this was a free museum and i hope that visitors donate as we found it was worth creditability in every sense.
I recommend this as a place to see if you are ever in Brighton.

Visited October 2016 

mumsangels

  

“Fantastic”

 Visited July 2016

So Informative
Wonderful to be able to walk around the original old police cells
Great displays and history
Would have been really good if we could have had longer to read some of the original letters at the end of the tour

tkjrsloane

 

“It was closed ! Gutted !”

Visited Sept 2016

I had planned to go on holiday and i had googled and found this most amassing museum, Perfect for me and my autistic 3 year old! Free, quiet, educational and police cells. I decided i would visit here when i am in Brighton and planned my day, i arrived and the wonderful guy told me it was closed. It has one tour and only on certain times and certain days. I/ We were gutted, really. I understand it is volunteer run and if i had of known i would of pre-booked and got there early, so, my advice to you is to do so. I suggested that this information and the telephone number is put onto the website to prevent others missing out - i will go in the future and i just hope that this wonderful experience is used and kept open. No one seams to know about this attraction - it seams to be a hidden gem ! I will be going in May 2017

Rachael P

 

Website Manager

All the details are on the website under Visitors Information

'Arranging a visit. Opening hours and booking a tour of the museum'

Also under Contact Us

Contact details and enquiries for the Old Police Cells Museum, Brighton Town Hall

 

“fascinating glimpse into brighton history”

Reviewed Sept 2016

This is a tour of the cells in the old police station under the town hall in central brighton. you go back as far as regency times and there are some great artefacts there as well as great stories,including when the chief constable got murdered there ! worth going to if you history - recommended !

jimmy k

 

“fascinating glimpse into brighton history”

Reviewed Sept 2016 This is a tour of the cells in the old police station under the town hall in central brighton. you go back as far as regency times and there are some great artefacts there as well as great stories,including when the chief constable got murdered there ! worth going to if you history - recommended!

jimmy k

 

 “very good”

 

found out about this on trip advisor,saw it was free and sounded interesting.host was very informative and entertaining.tour lasted about 1 1/2 hours .so good recommended it to my in-laws who went next day and enjoyed it as well.

August 2016

grumpydaddy

 

“Well, well, well......”

What a surprise! This was a really interesting, fascinating way to spend an hour and a half. Situated in the Town Hall you are led below stairs to learn the history of the police force in Brighton from its origins. There is graffiti from the times of mods and rockers, the story of the bombing of the Grand Hotel during the Tory conference and some really thought provoking memorabilia.
You need to book the tour which is free but you are able to make a donation which is purely voluntary. The guide makes it fun and I would thoroughly recommend.

 Visited August 2016

stephg1

 

“Fascinating”

What a great way to pass a couple of hours. The tour is free and run by volunteers, this is a tour of the old police station which is base in the basement of the town hall. You get shown the original cells and general detention area and told about the history, there's a display of old police equipment and uniforms. It's well worth the visit and don't forget to leave a donation.

Visited August 2016

Neil T

 

“This jailhouse rocks”

 Reviewed August 2016

Excellent tour by the ex-Mayor of Brighton. Highly recommended. Well thought out, lots of interesting memorabilia and even some original prisoners' graffiti.

Peter W

 

“Interesting way to spend a morning”

  Reviewed August 2016 

Just a nice quiet way to spend an hour or so. The building is interesting and a good insight into the Victorian prison system. The tour is made special by the guide, who is fun and informative, with lots of stories and facts. Well worth a visit.

 

Kim C

“Fantastic”

 Reviewed  August 2016

Excellent tour, really interesting. Guide was part of the investigation team for the Brighton bombing so his knowledge was second to none and so interesting, could have listened to him all day. Well worth a visit

Katieinital

 

“very interesting and detailed visit, with plenty of astonished stories”

Visited August 2016 The tour is guided by a retired police officer who answered every questions, tells a lot of stories about old and recent history concerning police job for several centuries to nowadays, anecdotes, strange, funny or sad stories; the tour takes around 1h30 but you never are bored, parents as children. we were lucky to be guided by Paul, and it was a great moment;

Lerouxdunet L,Ile-de-France, France

 

“Different Museum”Reviewed July 2016

If you have an hour or so to fill in the morning, this is worth a bit of your time. The guided tour of this small but interesting museum is with a retired policeman, he was knowledgeable and amusing. Some good exhibits relating to Brighton's past.

DKS824

 

“Where to get shackled for life!”

July 2016

Amazing place for son and lovely daughter in law to get married. Extremely unusual but then that is Brighton. Brilliant service from the staff so could not be faulted. every detail for the ceremony was catered for.

 stephen h

“Long Winded Experience”

Visited July 2016

Me and my partner thought it would be a nice idea to come for a look around and was told you could only do this by tour. The tour guide was an ex policeman who had lots of tales to tell! The tour started in the reception area, which was okay but people who worked in the building were constantly making noise and running around you. The tour itself was very long winded, we ended up leaving early as we were so bored. We couldn't hear the tour guide as he spoke so fast and quietly. We left an hour and a half into this experience and felt it could of easily been done in 30 minutes. Wouldn't recommend to disabled, people who can't stand for long or children.

Visited July 2016

 dunners7

 “From the marvellous mosaic to the hauting handcuffs.”

Reviewed 2 weeks ago

I must confess to never having been inside a police cell before. Ah well, there's a first time for most things. From the moment we strolled into this historic building we were immersed in history and a way of life (fortunately) not experienced by any of us before. Our guide, the excellent Alex Durie, answered all questions, no matter how daft some of them may have seemed. He allowed us plenty of time to explore and examine the many areas of interest. As we were a group of seven visually impaired members of Blind Veterans UK, supported by two of our wonderful volunteers, Alex had his hands full when trying to get us all down the many stairs leading to the cells. I must add that we also had, in our group, the excellent support of one member's guide dog, who (the guide dog, that is) posed happily with her police hat on. There is plenty of information available and many items to see so I do suggest you pop in to explore this side of Brighton's history. Don't forget to make a donation if you can. This venue is free to visit and most of the staff give generously of their time and energy to help make it a worthy experience.

 Visited June 2016

dianthus2000



“Well worth the visit!”

Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Led around by Michael a retired police officer, very informative and interesting. Some good stories and fun dressing up!

nicbyrne

 

“Worth a visit”

 

Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

 

The visit is free so that's a great start, and its in the centre of Brighton underneath the town hall. Very interesting to see the old police cells and the history of the police forces, and great fun trying on the various old uniforms if you want to. Well worth a visit if you have half an hour to spare

Thank DGB59

Thank DGB59“Run by a dedicated team of volunteers.”

 Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

These cells are a trip back in time with countless artefacts from the bygone era of policing in the city and beyond. See graffiti in the cells from the mods and rockers days of the sixties. See the best truncheon collection ever! Great for all the family setting out historical events of times gone by.

PishPash

“interest in law enforcement”

 Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

extremely interesting certainly more than expected the guide was passionate and informative and enthusiastic a real pleasure 1.5 hour guide went very quick thank you

tinmicky

 “Run by a dedicated team of volunteers.”

 Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

These cells are a trip back in time with countless artefacts from the bygone era of policing in the city and beyond. See graffiti in the cells from the mods and rockers days of the sixties. See the best truncheon collection ever! Great for all the family setting out historical events of times gone by.

Grigid

“Interesting ” 

Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile 

Visited with a couple of friends due to all working in law enforcement, it made for a fun morning comparing how things have changed over the years

Leaangi Kiddy

“Something a little different”

Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

A free guided tour of the old police cells in the basement of the town hall. The guides were funny and had lots of experience, they worked in the police cells before they shut! Loads of artefacts to look at and all interesting

 ClareBear74

“Interesting little tour”

Visited October 2015

Beneath the Old County Hall and opposite the wonderful La Plateau, you can pre book a free walk round Brighton's Old Prison Cells. Meeting inside the Grand Hall of the Council Hall, a circular enormous temple like room flooded with light and stepping over beautiful maritime mosaics, and tripping over a convoyeur belt of wedding parties. You are taken down below to the old cells, past the frighting sixties council furniture and into old cellmates toilets, its a small tour and could do with a revamp but the enthusiasm of the guide makes up for it. Educational and fun! It can be hired out for hen nights and events.

Laineydesanvito

“Brillant guide and very interesting”

Visited November 2015

Free guided tour of the old police cells. We were shown round by an ex police man who had actually worked in the station when it was open. Very informative and was great to hear his old stories.

Kate T

 

“Good for everyone.”

Reviewed 4 October 2015

We went to the Police Cells for a wedding. Yes, you can get married there. It is small, but very atmospheric. Great for a wedding.

As for a museum, brilliant. The guide knows his stuff, children will love it because they can dress in proper uniforms and touch everything.

Make this a must see in Brighton.

HalDavies

“Surprisingly engaging activity” 

Reviewed 13 October 2015

Free of charge but only available by appointment. A lovely blonde lady was our tour guide, with so much knowledge and passion to the place. We enjoyed every moment of it. We took funny pictures as we were allowed to dress up like a police man from back then. At the end of the tour please donate generously. They deserve it all.

Maurigarian

 “Atmospheric”

Reviewed 6 September 2015

There's a haunted cell in this museum! You can also see all the old uniforms, latrines and police equipment, the guides are amazing and enthusiastic. There is a secret passage with a very old well and I wonder if it was there when st bartholomews was still standing..

 Anna B

“Very interesting and enjoyable”

Reviewed 1 September 2015

Visited during a stay in Brighton, had to book the week prior but well worth it. I think the gentleman who guided us around was called Peter an ex- Brighton policeman, excellent tour. Great way to kill an hour.

Chris W

“Amazing visit with kids.”

Reviewed 24 August 2015NEW

Very good service and great visit. We really appreciate the Museum and the guide (an ex police man). If you go in Brighton, you must visit this place.

Melania_G_Haque 

“Well worth an hour out your day”

Reviewed 22 August 2015NEW

Bit of a hidden gem this. Phone a day or two in advance to book for the 10:30 daily tour (school holidays and otherwise weekends). Local volunteer takes you around, judging by the reviews below it is a bit hit and miss who you get and some are better than others. That aside it has some interesting history to ponder. Couple of the guides are old Brighton police members too so they have some interesting stories. Particularly interesting is the grand hotel bombing exhibit with the real evidence as it was. It is good that it is early in the day as you can then go on and do other things too.

FatyCakeShop  

“Glad we didn't go to prison here... ”

Reviewed 11 August 2015

Definitely an arresting experience! 
Clean, well preserved cells and lots of information readily available. 
The only tour starts at 10:30am, and lasts around an hour and a half. 
Our tour guide was Denise, a very friendly lady who added just the right pinch of salt to the ghost stories which made it humorous for adults still. She was happy to answer questions and include everyone in the tour, including the children.
Very much recommend to sightseers and locals alike!

Lizzie H 

“10.30 tour”

Reviewed 16 July 2015

You have to book the tour in advance, starts at 10.30 - it was really interesting viewing the male cells, female cells & all the memorabilia - we enjoyed trying the uniforms on! It's definitely worth a visit, the tour is free but there's a donation box at the end of the tour & you can leave at any time.

Nocd

“Great insight”

Reviewed 11 July 2015

Really wasn't too sure what to expect, but within minutes of being shown around I was loving it. It is so interesting to see how things used to be - we might complain about the here/now, but kinda glad I wasn't around then haha. Very informative and great guide explaining everything 

Simone A London

“Thank heaven I was not born then”

 

Reviewed 2 June 2015

I was a bit underwhelmed but if you are in the Brighton Square area, worth a five minute stop off. Nothing really exceptional - but that is only my own opinion. Others will most probably disagree.

Francis G

Finestrat, Spain

“BRILLIANT!”

Reviewed 31 May 2015

Very interesting place to visit. I thought it would be very boring but it was far from that!! I took my grandson and his friend with me and now they both very seriously want to join the police force. I would highly recommend this visit as it is such an eye opener!! Kiddies and grown ups will love it!!

suzzi2015

“Interesting”

 Reviewed 23 May 2015

Visiting the Old Police Cell museum in Brighton town hall has the feel of finding a hidden gem. The volunteer host was informative, and brought our visit to life. There's plenty to find interesting, I particularly liked the section concerning the 1984 bombing of the Grand hotel. A visit won't be to everyone's taste, but was a great use of a couple of hours.

Visited May 2015

Andy_van_Hat

“So Interesting!”

 Reviewed 16 May 2015

Really found this place fascinating and so much to see. Our volunteer tour guide Paul, a retired local Policeman was excellent, especially after waiting for us as we arrived half an hour late for the pre-booked tour which was just for the two of us! Despite this the the tour lasted almost two hours, he was very patient and I found Paul very knowledgeable and a great guide. There was so much to see and all this for FREE! I could have easily spent much longer. My daughter was particularly interested to hear the ghost stories and about the murder that took place there. Most definitely worth a visit.

Visited May 2015

Amanda D

“Great find! Unusual and interesting tour!”

 Reviewed 15 May 2015

Spotted this tour online while staying in Brighton and we were so glad we found it! The tour is free but you have to call beforehand and book your day and time. The museum is in the basement of the Town Hall (the Town Hall is a beautiful, historical building which is an attraction in itself). You see the original men's and women's cells, uniforms, police and crime paraphernalia, photos, etc. associated with the area and the police station. You also see the original washroom/toilets, and rooms used by the Police. Our guide was very good and quite knowledgeable but there seems to be some things not known about the different areas/rooms and how they were used. We saw into a large room which held shelves and shelves of old books and dusty old ledgers which apparently still need to be gone through and sorted and who knows - may even hold the answers to these questions! What was most surprising was the fact that these same cells, toilets, etc. were still in use in the 1960's!

Visited May 2015 

HaleyNewJersey

“Interesting..”

 Reviewed 18 April 2015

We were looking for things to do before we came to visit Brighton and this looked interesting. So we booked on the Monday and hoped we could visit on the Wednesday, which was confirmed over the phone. It was a great little museum, a hidden treasure really. We were shown around by a really informative guide and found it really interesting. The cells were interesting and I really liked looking at all of the graffiti that was left there. It was also fun to dress up at the end, it also gives you a sense of the amount of weight in the clothing that the police have to carry both now and in the past too. It is a free tour, there is a donation box should you wish to make a donation. Thoroughly enjoyable.

Visited April 2015

suitcasetraveller

 

“Hidden Atmospheric Gem”

 Reviewed 3 April 2015

What a fascinating little gem hidden below the Town Hall in the heart of Brighton. The volunteers who work there are both incredibly knowledgeable and incredibly interesting. The place is brim full of pictures and facts and pieces of history. You can get locked in a Police cell and hear the lock of doors; find out about the mods and rockers of the 60's and the history of policing and early CSI - including looking at the scene of a crime and trying to deduce for yourself. There are a few spooky bits about criminals and the atmosphere is fantastic. A great and unusual thing to do for young and old alike.

Visited March 2015

Susanne C

“Quirky and intriguing”

Reviewed 8 February 2015

A really fun and quirky way to spend a morning. Booking is essential for this free tour of Brighton Police Cells. The guide was knowledgeable and told us lots of outrageous stories relating to the museum. Also there are fun activities to do (dressing up etc)

KemptownFoodie

 

“Fascinating and free!” 

Reviewed 2 February 2015

This museum is located under the Town Hall, apparently where many ghosts of previous "inhabitants" appear every now and then! Paul and Denise were wonderful hosts who guided us around the cells, recounting stories from first hand experience of a career in the local police force. Highlights were stories of the Mods and Rocker riots, and the bombing of the Grand Hotel. Highly recommended.    

 VanLad

 

“Worth a visit!”

 Reviewed 18 January 2015

pre-bookable tour 1st and 3rd Saturday of month, FREE! Had a thoroughly enjoyable two hour tour here yesterday, learn't a lot about history of the police by a very informative guide who is an ex police officer..And visited the cells beneath the Town Hall...Well worth a visit!... must just add not suitable for wheelchairs as stairs down into the basement.

Visited January 2015

Helen J

   

“Fantastic free attraction”

 Reviewed 2 November 2014

A brilliant tour, with very Knowledgeable guides. Learnt so much about policing in the past from the excellent Ken and Dave. Tour lasted an hour and a half and we were thoroughly entertained throughout. Donations are gratefully received and we felt more than happy to dip into our pockets and contribute after such a fascinating tour.

Visited November 2014

Gintymaginty 

 

“Police Heritage”

Reviewed 31 January 2015An excellent trip down memory lane. These police cells contain history to be enjoyed. The mods and rockers era of the 1960s is well represented here with cell graffiti. Knowledgable guise and a free visit. Well recommended.

Visited January 2015

Derek H

 

“A really interesting experience - and it's free!”

 

Reviewed 12 October 2013

Underground beneath BrightonTown Hall are extensive tunnels and police cells used from the Victorian era up until the 1970s. These have been opened up to the public (booking required) and are truly amazing. During the Mods and Rockers riots in the 1960s as many as 80 youths were jammed into each cell and their graffiti has been preserved carved into the doors and walls. The exhibits trace the history of the Brighton Police up to modern times and gruesome details of murder cases add to the spooky atmosphere. An enthusiastic guide made this an event to remember. My wife and I rated this experience second only to the Royal Pavilion tour.

Visited October 2013

Dorset_Food_Fan

This page was added by Paul Beaken on 26/06/2015.

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