Samuel Johnson Birthplace Museum

This is a Grade I* Listed Building of immense historic importance. It houses a museum dedicated to the memory of Samuel Johnson. There is a second-hand bookshop on the ground floor. The building is held under a registered Charitable Trust of which the City Council is the sole trustee.

The museum holds a variety of events throughout the year, including city-wide celebrations for Johnson’s Birthday every September. The Birthplace houses five floors of exhibits including period room settings, interactive displays and activities for children. The collection includes a library of works by, and about, Johnson and his age, available for use by researchers.

Visit the Samuel Johnson Birthplace Museum website.

Samuel Johnson Museum
The Samuel Johnson Museum

Guildhall Prison Cells

Man in stocks
The Old Guildhall Prison for felons and debtors is at the rear of the Guildhall. Visitors can explore original cells and the history of law and order in the city in this small display, on the site which has been in use as a prison since 1548.

The prison spans stories across the centuries, from the martyrs burned on Lichfield Market Square in the 17th century to the fates of John Neve, William Wightman and James Jackson who were found guilty of forgery and were the last felons to be publicly hanged at Lichfield gallows in 1810. Officially closed as a prison from 1848, the cells continued to be used as the city lock-up until around 1900, and the old police station gates can still be seen on the ground-floor corridor.

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