The Old Jail Willowmore Guest House or Self Catering Baviaanskloof
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  • 1,400
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    based on 2 persons
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  • Property TypeHotel
  • Guests15
  • Rooms/Units6
  • Wir SprechenDeutsch

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  • Listed on since December 2012

The Old Jail is a highly recommended guest house with self catering option, providing accommodation in Willowmore for tourists visiting the Baviaanskloof region.

About The Old Jail

The Old Jail in the peaceful farming town of Willowmore offers a unique experience for tourists, business travelers and sports enthusiasts seeking quality accommodation in the Karoo. Flanked by the spectacular Baviaanskloof and Swartberg mountain ranges, this striking 1880s building is on the edge of the town and is one of the finest examples of Victorian architecture in the area.

Registered by the Government in 1895, the building is built of stone, the walls being half a metre thick with plaster “quions” (corners) on the windows, doors and wall corners. The Old Gaol, as it was then called, comprised a hospital cell, hard labour cells, awaiting trial cells, a female cell and kitchen cell.

It ceased to operate as a prison and police station around 1960 and was sold to private owners. It has changed hands several times in the past 40 years and remained uninhabited for almost 12 years until its present owners took possession and began transforming it into a boutique guest establishment.

Now lovingly restored and renovated, the building is surrounded by attractive landscaped gardens. Although oozing character and retaining many original features, it has now been given a new – and less intimidating – lease of life as a welcoming B&B and art gallery. The cells and exercise areas have been cleverly converted into three elegant, air conditioned rooms with modern amenities, high quality period finishes and private courtyards.

Whether you're looking for an overnight stay along the N9 highway or a few days’ hiking, cycling, golfing, small game hunting or relaxing in peaceful, unspoiled surroundings, The Old Jail is a place you won't want to escape from in a hurry.


All rooms are fully air conditioned with high ceilings, original features, quality bedlinen, brass bathroom fittings, original artworks and tea / coffee making facilities. Each has a private, lawned courtyard with sun loungers and parasols.

Hospital Suite:
Originally housing sick inmates, the suite offers a spacious bedroom featuring a king size bed, original Victorian fireplace and antique wardrobe, plus an elegant ensuite bathroom with claw foot bath, separate shower, toilet and underfloor heating in winter.

The Womens Room:
Once used exclusively for female inmates, this is a characterful double room with its private bath/shower room (with unique stone bath) and separate toilet just a few steps away across its secluded, lawned courtyard.

The Remand Room:
As the name suggests, this was the cell used for prisoners awaiting trial. It now features twin beds and also has a separate Victorian-style shower room and toilet off a private courtyard.

Self Catering Options:
We have 2 self catering units in the Old Stables: Our budget room called Orange Room is very small with a double bed only and very rustic. No TV. The Farmers Suite can accommodate up to 4. TV available. Both rooms do not have airconditioning. They have safe parking and breakfast can be taken in the Art Gallery of the Old Jail. Both units have self catering facilities and an outside braai area as well.

Breakfast and Dinner

A full Continental breakfast is served either in the main indoor yard or in the Art Gallery, weather depending. Dinner is served by special arrangement. Braai facilities are available at the Old Stables and braai packs (a selection of Karoo lamb and beef and boerewors) can be organised on request.

Take the Tour

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Features you'll appreciate

providedonly in some rooms

In Room / Unit

  • Additional bed / mattress
  • Air-conditioning
  • Area information booklet
  • Bar fridge
  • Bathrobes
  • Bathroom (en-suite)
  • Bathroom towels supplied
  • Bed linen supplied
  • Children: cot, highchair, etc.
  • Clock radio
  • Complimentary toiletries
  • Fireplace
  • Hairdryer
  • Heater(s)
  • International plug point(s)
  • Patio / verandah / balcony
  • Safe for valuables
  • Smoking: not allowed
  • Tea and coffee facilities
  • Television (with M-Net)
  • Television (with satellite)
  • Underfloor heating

On Site

  • Garden(s)
  • Housekeeping (daily)
  • Parking (off street)
  • Reception (business hours)
  • Security (alarm system)
  • Smoking: none indoors

Food & Drink

  • Braai / barbeque (BBQ)
fluentsome understanding

Languages Spoken

  • English
  • Afrikaans
  • German
  • Russian

Rooms & Rates

Select your check-in and check-out dates to view availability and the rates applicable.

Female Cell double bed

Double Bed separate toilet and bath/shower across the yard. Yard and amenities are for private use only.

Qty: 1
Sleeps: 2 guests (max 2 adults)
Children: from 15-18 years are allowed

Awaiting Trial 2 single beds

Luxury suite with optional : 2 single beds or 1 big double bed,; own private yard with shower and toilet facilities across yard.

Qty: 1
Sleeps: 2 guests (max 2 adults)
Children: from 15-18 years are allowed

Hospital Room King size bed

En-suite bedroom with a full Victorian bathroom, King size bed and fire place, own private court yard with the possibility to have a teenage child sleep in a solitary confinement cell within this court yard.

Qty: 1
Sleeps: 3 guests (max 2 adults)
Children: from 15-18 years are allowed

Old Stables Farmers Suite 1

Family unit in our Old Stables sleeping maximum 4 and children up to the age of 14 only. Self catering unit with kitchenette and braai area. Breakfast can be taken in our Art Gallery in the main building.

Qty: 1
Sleeps: 4 guests (max 2 adults)
Children: from 0-18 years are allowed

Old Stables Farmers Suite 2

Self catering child friendly family unit with 2 singl e beds/double bed and 1 sleeper couch for 1 child + cot on request.Breakfast can be taken in the Art Gallery

Qty: 1
Sleeps: 3 guests (max 2 adults)
Children: from 0-18 years are allowed

Old Stables Donkey Room

Single accommodaiton with coffee and tea manking facilities , DSTV, aircondtioner, open plan bathroom. Family friendly room with 2 single beds and 1 sleeper couch for 1 child with interleading door to Farmers Suite 2.

Qty: 1
Sleeps: 1 guests (max 1 adults)
Children: from 0-18 years are allowed

Guest Reviews

4 Reviews from travellers. All reviews are verified.

Verified reviewexcellent

Pleasantly surprised and most enyoyable !! It was wonderful to stay with you. Keep up the good work!!

March 2012

Santi Keulder & Annelise Du Preez (Port Elizabeth)

Verified reviewvery good

What a very special encounter. We are glad to have met you. We had a wonderful 2 days in Jail xxx Niki & Chris of Lezard Bleu Guest House

February 2012

Niki & Chris (Cape Town)

Need to Know

Response timeThe Old Jail typically responds to requests in 5-10 minutes.

Child policyChildren are accommodated by special arrangement only.

Closest airport(s)George Airport - 190km
Port Elizabeth Airport - 230km

Check-in/-out timesCheck-in from 14h00
Check-out by 10h00

Payment methods accepted by the propertyEFT or secure online payment via

Listed on since December 2012

Find The Old Jail in these collections

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Find out more about Willowmore as a destination

Self Catering near The Old Jail

FIND / South Africa Self Catering / Eastern Cape Self Catering / Karoo Heartland Self Catering / Baviaanskloof Self Catering / Willowmore Self Catering has been assisting travellers with their South Africa travel plans since 1999, and is the largest, independent online travel guide for South Africa available in both English and German.