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Kentucky: A road trip through the state - Part 8 - Orlando / Florida Guide

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Kentucky – a road trip through the state:- part 8

The next part of the trip was one that I personally had been looking forward to. It was only a short trip of about 100 miles from our stop off at Owensboro as we headed east to Bardstown on the Kentucky Parkway. Established in 1780, Bardstown is Kentucky' s second oldest city, and is home to the Annual Bourbon Festival every fall. It also has a large number of both large and small distilleries very close to the town. You can go on organised tours or plan your own. The larger makers tend to have set tour times for every day but some of the smaller makers will accommodate smaller or individual parties. In the case of the smaller maker you need to call ahead and find out what if anything they will do.

Where to stay here is less of a problem due to the large number of visitors that are attracted to the town that want to go on the Bourbon tours. Choosing our accommodation was not a problem once we found out they had a guest house called the Jailer’s Inn. We had stayed in a converted jail once before in Rhode Island and found the experience very entertaining. This turned out to be slightly different as Bardstown’s jail, which was still in use until 1987, offers Victoriana filled rooms inside the warden’s mansion with a single converted jail cell bedroom, complete with bars and prisoners’ graffiti.

The Jailer' s Inn is a place of many contrasts. Each of the six guest rooms have been tastefully decorated with antiques and heirlooms and are all located in the renovated front section of the jail. The front building, sometimes referred to as the ' Old Jail' was constructed in 1819. The back part of the jail which was built in 1874 is basically unchanged from when it was last used.

The back stone building is called the ' New Jail' and is completely surrounded by a stone wall. After it was completed the front jail was then converted into the jailer' s residence. When you look inside this building you get a chilling view of what conditions were like when this operated as the old Nelson County jail. The upper floor of this limestone building has 30 inch thick walls and contains two cells plus an ' upstairs dungeon' in which to house the prisoners

In the mornings when the weather is good a full breakfast is served in the courtyard. As you sit out and have coffee or talk to other guests it’s difficult to imagine all of the previous uses of this courtyard. It has been used as a work yard for prisoners where that spend all day crushing limestone, as a visiting place for relatives and at one point was the location of the Nelson County gallows.
It was the oldest operating jail complex in the state of Kentucky and is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.

The second part of this description and a look at other places to stay and eat is continued in part 9.

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