The Old Police Cells Museum Brighton

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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.

Private/School visits are booked through Phil Armstrong

Tel 01323 – 893229.

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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.

Why you are you a great place for educational visits?

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 does a typical educational visit include?

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.


What group sizes do you cater for?

Up to 45 including accompanying adults

Are you happy for children to take photos, video or audio?


What is your process for booking pre arranged risk assessments?

A basic risk assessment is available on request from the:

Private Visits Coordinator

Old Police Cells Museum

via email from

Does your venue have an education officer?

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

Private Visits Coordinator

Old Police Cells Museum

via email from

What is the cost of the visit?

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

Is specific clothing required for the trip?

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

Do you have first aid on site or will the group need to bring a qualified first aider?

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

Please list facilities available.

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.

What are your 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.

Disabled Facilities: No

What are your opening days and hours?

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 1-1½ hours. Age of Children / Pupils: 8 – 10 years 11 – 13 years 14 – 16 years, College, University.

Type of Visit: Historic Buildings, Historical Heritage, Museums Themed Attractions
Curriculum Topics Covered: Citizenship, History
Months Open: All Year Round

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

Contact: 03000 290902





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