This striking red-brick building on The Mall is now Mayo County Council's Motor Tax Office. It was also the original branch of Castlebar's Bank Of Ireland but was originally built as a jail.
The building was erected in 1785 and used as a jail for approximately 50 years. It is situated directly across the road from the Courthouse. It is also situated across from the 'hanging tree' on The Mall where public hangings took place in order to act as a deterrent to locals. The most famous hanging that took place was that of Fr. Conroy of Addergoole parish (Lahardane) in response to the part he played in the 1798 rebellion. The tree blew down in a storm in 1918.
It is said that during recent road works, a tunnel was discovered linking the courthouse to the jail. This was said to be used to transfer prisoners to and from both buildings.
A new jail was opened in 1835 on the site of the current Mayo University Hospital. This jail was in use until 1935.
In his new book, ‘Anatomy of a County Gaol (Part I)’, local barrister and author, Michael O’Connor, says “The Inspector General of Prisons said the worst gaols in Ireland were in Castlebar,”