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Ripon Museums


Three Great Museums, One Great Day Out!


Three sites to visit, within Ripon's city centre

Excellent Educational Visits (Key Stages 1, 2 & 3)

Special Educational Group Visits

Higher & Further Education Visits also

Guided tours of the restored Workhouse garden

Experience some 'Courtroom Drama' and join our New Family Trail around the Courthouse Museum

Ghoulish Tours and Dinner Party events etc.


Workhouse Museum is all on one level. Doors & corridors wheelchair accessible

Access Lift is available

Workhouse Garden is fully accessible by wheelchair

Prison & Police Museum has access to a lift, and access to a visitors' toilet on ground floor

Children's Questionnaires and Magnetic Boards available in the Courthouse Museum

Our three museums, all within walking distance of Ripon's city centre, follow a common law and order theme and are based in the original courthouse, prison and workhouse buildings.

The Ripon Union Workhouse was some peoples place of last resort. Walk in a Victorian pauper's footprints, experiencing the austere atmosphere. See displays of the food, uniforms and hard labour they endured. During the holidays we have living history events that let you try Victorian tasks like oakum picking and rag rugging with our costumed guides.

Visitors can imagine the tough conditions for Victorian prisoners at the Ripon Prison & Police Museum. Try on police and prison uniforms, listen to the door slam as you sit in a prison cell and think of the horror at being strapped in a restraint chair, set in the pillory or hung in chains. Experience the hard labour of carrying out shot drill, turning the crank or climbing the treadmill. The history of Yorkshire Policing is illustrated in our displays.

The Ripon Courthouse is almost unchanged since 1830 when it was built. You can deliver a verdict at the magistrates' bench or sit in the dock to hear your fate. The displays show the history of the courthouse and tell the story of the people who have passed through over the years.

These award winning museums uncover Ripon's hidden histories. The three museums are open every day.Please check our website for further details.


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