Gaol Arial

About the Huron Historic Gaol

The Huron Historic Gaol is a unique octagonal building which served as the County Jail from its opening in 1841 until closure in 1972. At the time of construction it was viewed as a model of humanitarian prison design. Originally the building served as Gaol for the Counties of Huron, Bruce & Perth but after the counties separated the building served only the County of Huron for the majority of its history.

Throughout its history the Gaol housed inmates registered for crimes from misdemeanors to criminal convictions, including three men who were hanged for crimes of murder. It also provided shelter as the House of Refuge for the ill, destitute and mentally ill. Men, women and children all spent time in the Gaol throughout its history.

The Gaol is now a National Historic Site visited by thousands of people each year. See admission rates and current hours below. Not wheelchair accessible.

Huron Historic Gaol

181 Victoria St. N., Goderich, ON, N7A 2S9

(Gaol entrance located on Gloucester Terrace)


All visits to the Gaol must be booked in advance

Welcome back to the Huron Historic Gaol! The Gaol is following the advice of public health authorities and is making every effort to help ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone. Prior to visiting, please review what to expect below.


  • To accommodate physical distancing requirements, all visits to the Gaol must be booked in advance and will be guided by staff. Please call 519-524-6971 during open hours to book a visit.
  • Staff are available onsite to take bookings Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday, 12:30-4:30 p.m.; Thursday, 12:30-8:30 p.m., and Saturday, 9:30am-4:30 p.m. The last scheduled visit will be booked one hour before close.
  • Guided visits will take up to 45 minutes.
  • When arriving for your visit, please wait outside the main entrance on Gloucester Terrace. Staff will meet you outside to begin your guided tour at your scheduled time.
  • Both staff and visitors are asked to wear a face covering at all times, even if fully vaccinated.
  • Maintain two metres from others to ensure appropriate physical distancing.
  • If you are feeling unwell, we kindly ask that you visit us at another time.
  • Regular admission rates apply.
  • The Huron County Museum has also re-opened to the public! 


Fall 2021

M – 12:30 pm – 4:30 pm

T – 12:30 pm – 4:30 pm

W – 12:30 pm – 4:30 pm

T – 12:30 pm – 8:30 pm

F – 12:30 pm – 4:30 pm

S – 9:30 am – 4:30 pm

S – 12:30 pm – 4:30 pm

November 1

to April 30

Closed for the season

The Museum and Gaol are closed New Years Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Thanksgiving, Remembrance Day, Christmas and Boxing Day. 

The Museum and Gaol are open Family Day (Museum only), Victoria Day, Canada Day, Civic Holiday Monday and Labour Day.

Admission Rates

Family $20 $60
Adult $6 $40
Senior (65+) $5.50 $30
Student $5 $30
Child (6-10) $4.50

Huron County Library Card Holders

Regular admission to the Museum and Gaol is available at no charge to those presenting a Huron County Library card.

Each Museum and Gaol visitor will be required to present their own library card, including children over the age of 5.  Library cards are available at no charge to Huron County residents at any one of Huron County’s twelve library branch locations.  Free admission is limited to regular admission rates only.  Additional charges will still apply to workshops, programs (including Behind the Bars), special events, room rentals, group tours, memberships, archives use, and other events.

360 Virtual Tour