Bodmin Jail transformed after £8.5 million redevelopment

One of Cornwall’s leading historical sites, Bodmin Jail, is currently in the process of undergoing an £8.5 million redevelopment and is set to reopen on 1 October as a world-class attraction and cutting-edge visitor experience.

The unveiling marks the biggest attraction opening for 2020 in the South West and includes a brand-new ‘Dark Walk’ experience – the first of its kind in the region. Combining the latest technology and theatrical effects, the Dark Walk has been developed by Sarner International, an award-winning design and audiovisual studio, and will treat visitors to a truly immersive and interactive discovery of Cornwall’s most haunting histories.

Stories of Cornwall’s murky past will be retold, and visitors will be transported to life within the walls of the 18th century prison where they will learn the gritty reality of smuggling, mining and the everyday hardships of the jail’s most infamous prisoners.

The haunting cinematic visual experience also delves into the myth of the terrifying Bodmin Beast, and through awe-inspiring CGI effects, takes visitors on a journey through Cornish history.

As well as significant investment in the Cornish visitor economy, the multimillion-pound redevelopment also represents substantial works to preserve the heritage and ecological importance of the building which was originally built in 1779 for King George III. As part of this in excess of a quarter of a million pounds has been spent on wildlife conservation including installing new bat houses and roosting boxes.

Martin Lyall, general manager of Bodmin Jail Attraction said: “The new attraction is one of the most exciting redevelopments in the region in recent times. Such is its historic and technological significance, it is projected to attract annual visitor numbers in the region of 200,000 and will have huge positive economic impact on Cornwall’s tourism industry, especially when we reach a post-Covid stage.

“As well as creating a world-class attraction, the redevelopment peeled back amazing layers of history and is a fascinating experience on so many levels. The state-of-the-art facility will be fundamental in driving Cornwall forward as a leading tourism destination.”

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