It is opened on request only.

The Provost Prison derives its name from its association with the Provost Marshall, the officer responsible for the maintenance and order in military camps and the punishment and custody of deserters and other military offenders.

In 1835 Sir Benjamin D'Urban, as Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the Cape Colony, gave instructions for the building of a fortified barrack establishment which was to include a military prison. The Provost Prison was built by the Royal Engineers to a design based on Jeremy Bentham's eighteenth century panopticon system for the "ceaseless surveillance" of prisoners and was completed in 1838.

The original panopticon consisted of an outer circle of cells and exercise yards which could be kept under constant observation from the windows of a central two-storey guardhouse.

In 1937 the Old Provost was declared a national monument and restored by the Cape Provincial Administration.

Having been restored it was handed over to the Albany Museum in 1982.