Visiting the Old Bailey Criminal Court

Old Bailey London

If the processes of law and justice take your fancy or you are just curious about the subject of criminal intent then head down to the Old Bailey Central Criminal Court in High Holborn for a chance to witness one of the 1500 serious cases being tried every year from the restricted access of the public viewing galleries.

The Old Bailey is one of the most famous criminal courts in the world and has been London’s principal criminal court for centuries. Located between Holborn Circus and St Paul's Cathedral, the Old Bailey is named on the road on which it stands which follows the line of the City's fortified wall (bailey). In medieval times, the site where the Old Bailey stands today was home to the Newgate Goal Stood, and until 1868 hangings took place in public outside Newgate itself. The original Old Bailey was built in 1539 and before being destroyed by the Great Fire was designed as an Italianate Brick Building with a open-air courtroom to minimize the spread of gaol fever which took the lives of many prisoners, judges and even the Lord Mayor at the time.

The Old Bailey we see today was designed by Edward Mountford and was opened in 1907 by King Edward VII. Inspired by St Pauls Cathedral nearby, the inside features magnificent marbled halls and a muraled dome above the court resides the statue of Lady Justice holding a sword in her right hand and weighing scales in her left.

The Old Bailey is steeped in history and has dealt with some of the most severe and high profile cases in the history of London. The oldest courtrooms of the Old Bailey are number one, two and three, and it is in within these walls that many famous people have stood trial including the likes of Oscar Wilde, The Krays and the Yorkshire Ripper.

While it is not publically a tourist attraction, the Old Bailey provides an intriguing insight into the past and present workings of the London courts and has also made an appearance in popular literature, television and film making it a very notable point of interest in the city’s heritage. In Charles Dicken's Tale of Two Cities, the Old Bailey is the courthouse named in the book where Charles Darnay is put on trial for treason.

Opening times are Monday to Friday from 10am to 2pm and 2pm to 5pm. No reservations are held and visitors must be over the age of 14 years old.

The Old Bailey Central Criminal Court is situated near St Pauls Cathedral in the heart of "The City" of London. Often referred to as 'Square Mile', this area is the main financial and commercial district of London and has a history that dates back to the middle ages when it was first established as a prime trading port. A popular demand for convenient and cost-effective accommodation from business and corporate clients who work in this area has lead to the increased availability of Serviced Apartments and Short Stay Apartments.

Check-in-London offers a fantastic range of modern self-catering serviced apartments in St Pauls, Blackfriars, Farringdon and Holborn that are ideal for short term accommodation or corporate housing and within easy reach of the Old Bailey Court House as well as many other top sights and attractions around London.

Speak to a customer advisor now to enquire or book a Serviced Apartment in Central London. Call us on +44 843 289 8820 or email us at for rates and availability.

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