What is the Abandoned Prison in Skyrim and Where to Find It: A Quick Guide

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Ah, Skyrim. The game that just keeps surprising its players, despite the hundreds of hours of playtime it takes to beat it. When you think about it, it’s really no wonder that there’s an abandoned prison in the game. Nevertheless, the Skyrim Abandoned Prison is still an intriguing concept.

How do you even stumble upon such a place? What can you find in the Skyrim Abandoned Prison? And why is it abandoned in the first place? Our quick Skyrim Abandoned Prison 101 will let you in on all these details and answer all your questions!

abandoned prison Skyrim

What is the Skyrim Abandoned Prison?

The Abandoned Prison is a location in Eastmarch. It’s essentially exactly as its title says, an abandoned prison.

Although we don’t know the full story, what we do know is that the prison has collapsed. Presumably, this happened due to excessive flooding. This makes sense considering the prison sits just atop the White River and very close to a waterfall. Flooding was kind of inevitable, really.

On the outside, it’s barely noticeable, but it hides a somewhat dark story in its interior, which we’ll talk about later.

Where is the Abandoned Prison in Skyrim?

You can find the structure slightly northwest of Fort Amol, right on the White River. You’ll see a sizable waterfall. On the other side of the waterfall is where you’ll find the Abandoned Prison in Skyrim.

Although the structure is located in Eastmarch, don’t use Windhelm as a mark from which to find the Skyrim Abandoned Prison. Instead, opt to look southwest of the major city to find it.

The easiest way to find it is to use the photo we provided below as a reference to find Skyrim’s Abandoned Prison.

Upon reaching the prison, you should be careful not to get caught in the water, as it can ruin all the progress you’ve made getting to the structure!

Skyrim Abandoned Prison: Interior & Items


Once you enter the Skyrim Abandoned Prison, you’ll notice one thing: only one route is open. Go down the stairs and notice the chest on your left side. You can find some nice potions to loot there, as well as an iron battleaxe. 

You should also find another chest to your right on top of a wardrobe containing 48 gold, an iron ingot, and a steel war axe. After you loot these, keep going through the corridor.

Guards’ Room

When you follow the path you’ll find some bars leading to what was presumably the guards’ room. After reading the Guard’s Orders, you’ll figure out that this was probably an Imperial prison that was about to flood soon. The guards evacuated, leaving the prisoners behind to die. There’s more stuff to loot on these shelves, so be sure to do so before advancing to the next area.

Prison Cells

After this, you should enter a sizable room with a few cells in between. You’ll also immediately take notice of the two ghosts wandering around the room, as they’re going to attack you soon.

After killing them, you can turn your focus to the room. Along the way to the back of the room, you’ll find the Prisoners’ Plan. In this letter, you’ll find out that the prisoners were planning to overpower the guards and make their escape. The letter also mentions a grate in one of the cells through which the prisoners planned to break out. Move to the back of the room where you’ll find the Abandoned Prison Key lying on a table.

If you haven’t noticed the big gaping hole in the wall left of the table where you found the key, now is the time to do so. Going through the hole in the wall lets you unlock the cell with the prison key, and loot the chest on the right side of the room.

The Other Side

You won’t have too much time to wander around as another ghost will attack you. Deal with him quickly, and proceed up the staircase. Here, you’ll find a skeleton, a bed, a table with some gold on it, and a chest. The chest contains some great loot, so make sure not to miss it.

At the end of the hall and to the right you’ll find another room where the Two-Handed skill book, Song of Hromir, is leaning against a chest. You can unlock the chest with a key and loot what you need from it. The rest of the room is pretty much filled with junk.

How to Escape the Skyrim Abandoned Prison

Finally, you’ve cleared the Skyrim Abandoned Prison and you’re ready to make your exit! This is a good time to reread the Prisoner’s Plan and find the grate he was talking about.

Retrace your steps back to the cell in question and go down the grate. Follow the pathway (and loot the satchel sitting on the barrel just before the exit) and safely lead yourself out of the Abandoned Prison and into Skyrim!

You will find yourself just underneath the bridge over the White River with three skeletons around you. Obviously, this is a grim implication for the prisoners trying to escape through the grate. Thankfully, there was no flood this time around!

Congratulations, you’ve officially cleared and escaped the Skyrim Abandoned Prison! Give yourself a pat on the back and go eat a sweet roll. You’ve earned it.

Escape the Skyrim Abandoned Prison

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