The entrance to Brielle Historical Museum is located on Markt in the grand town hall. The original sandstone facade in Louis XVI style with a triangular pediment was built in 1791 by Johannes van Westenhout.

However, the museum is also partly located in the two historic buildings behind the town hall: the former town jail and the weigh-house, built in 1623 by town carpenter Maarten Cornelis Payese. The weigh-house is located on the corner of Koopmanstraat and Venkelstraat. In the past a weigh-house was used for weighing goods. That was usually done using a double balance with two scales. Our word ‘scales’ is derived from that. The rights to operate a weigh-house was one of the town rights that a town could obtain. Traders were then obliged to have the products that they sold by weight weighed on the town scales. The use of a weigh-house encouraged honest trading. This was essential for the town’s reputation as a trading centre. The town collected a weighing levy, a kind of tax on weighing, which formed a source of income for the town.

The town jail contained three cells and a debtor’s cell. People were held there for crimes such as burglary and theft before being sentenced. The signs identifying the rooms are still visible above the doors: the ‘Bewaarderskamer’ (Guards’ Room) and the ‘Mannekamer’ (Men’s Room), for example. The double doors of this latter cell are made of oak and are more than 6.5 cm thick, and the walls are 45 cm thick. Various prisoners have left their mark in the cells: names, initials, dates and a drawing of a gallows can be found on the doors and walls, scratched in by the people held there.

The building ceased to be uses jail in 1889. After a thorough restoration it started a new life as a museum in 1912.