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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
See all hours
Wed - Mon 10:00 - 16:00

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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  • 39
  • 14
    Very good
  • 4
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Very historic

There is a surprise at the end of the self tour.It catches you off guard. Takes you down memory lane of what Warrenton Va. used to be like.

Reviewed 10 April 2017
Warrenton, Virginia

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57 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 57: English reviews
Warrenton, Virginia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
Reviewed 10 April 2017

There is a surprise at the end of the self tour.It catches you off guard. Takes you down memory lane of what Warrenton Va. used to be like.

Thank kreder9277
Warrenton, Virginia
Level Contributor
79 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 March 2017 via mobile

This is a tiny museum. You can see the whole thing in half an hour. They have used the old jail in training videos to depict jails in third world countries. It's really a cool place. Civil war relics are also included. Go!

Thank Crazywolf701
MaggieLovitt, Curator at The Fauquier History Museum at the Old Jail, responded to this review

Hi there, I was wondering where you learned about the third world country videos. Thank you! More 

Warrenton, Virginia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed 13 February 2017 via mobile

Yearly event that happens several weekends in Oct leading up to Halloween. Guides take groups around town telling stories of ghost related events that have happened in town in the past and present time. Very well done, very knowledgeable guides and stories. Easy walk through beautiful old town Warrenton starting at the Old Jail.

Thank donnabQ1834QE
Warrenton, Virginia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 13 February 2017

Warrenton is a place rich in history. The Old Jail Museum is a site representative of that interesting character and well worth the time spent.

Thank bodensrb
Level Contributor
1,635 reviews
1,243 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 580 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 January 2017 via mobile

This is a very small but interesting museum in Warrenton that sits in the shadow of the courthouse. It starts in the original 1808 jail which was later converted into the jailer's house and then you move into the new jail which operated into the 1960s. I found the maximum security cell in the newer jail very neat as it... More 

Thank jehenson81
Warrenton, Virginia
Level Contributor
16 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 17 January 2017

Perfect for people looking for a quick but thorough history lesson. staff is friendly and knowledgeable. Building is interesting and perfect for small groups, families and kids.

Thank duke1114
Bristow, Virginia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 November 2016

The Fauquier Historical Society’s costumed guides lead you through a brand new path in Old Town Warrenton. This was our first year at this event and it was amazing. If you are thinking of attending do not hesitate! A tour of the old jail starts the evening and then very interesting and personal information is shared via the guides. This... More 

Thank drpc2010
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 October 2016

Interesting artifacts that clearly show how inhumane society treated people who didn't abide by their sometimes irrational rules.

Thank David J
Level Contributor
82 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 September 2016

Self-guided tour of buildings and displays. Very interesting history on display with actually old jail cells and artifacts to view. I was surprised by the amount of historical material available. Nice place for children to tour with adult supervision. Very nice little gift shop. No charge to take the tour and it is supported by donations.

Thank Jack W
Winchester, Virginia
Level Contributor
16 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 September 2016

Greeted in small gift shop/office and given short talk about the origins and history of the jail. Tour is self guided with an informational page to follow. Rooms, the actual cells, are set to duplicate the living conditions fro the 1800's. Good placards and descriptions throughout the site. A short but very insightful look back into history.

Thank vatravelers2014

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