The Old Bailey
Known as the Old Bailey, the Central Criminal Court of England and Wales, is one of a number of buildings housing the Crown Court.
Behind its dignified façade the Old Bailey is a centre of intense activity with thousands of people entering the building on a daily basis. As well as judges, counsel, jurors, witnesses and defendants, these include the many staff needed to run the courts and the building.
The City of London Corporation which owns and administers the building, has a department there headed by the Secondary and Under Sheriff who is assisted by the Keeper. This handles security, maintenance and also deals with administration of the Shrievalty, which includes execution of writs and warrants, and summoning of jurors.
Staff run the courts, headed by the Courts Administrator who administers all the London group of crown centres. The work includes the huge and complicated task of assigning cases to courts, ensuring that there are always cases ready and waiting to be heard, with witnesses, defendants and counsel available.
Access to the public galleries
- Opening times: Monday to Friday 9.55am to 12.40pm and 1.55pm to 3.40pm (last admission)
- Access is free and based on a first come first served basis
- Seating cannot be reserved under any circumstances
- Groups, maximum 20 people, need to call in advance
- There is no admission for children under 14 and proof of age may be requested by security.
- Visitors who wish to watch court proceedings from the public galleries are requested to dress appropriately (no vests or shorts for men; no low-cut tops or short skirts for women) or entry to the court building will be refused
- No electronic devices, bags, food or drink are allowed in the building. There are no facilities for the safekeeping of such items available at the entrance to the public galleries.
The court is closed on Bank Holiday Mondays. There is a reduced court sitting in August.
How to get here
Nearest station: St Paul's. Ffollow the signs to Old Bailey.
Central Criminal Court
London EC4M 7EH
020 7248 3277