Ripon Museums | Ripon
Ripon Museums consists of three sites within the centre of the city of Ripon and tell the unique story of the Liberty Courthouse, Prison and Victorian Workhouse.
Together the three museums tell a sorry and interwoven story of Law and Order in times past. Malefactors would be incarcerated at the Prison or Police Station before being taken to the Courthouse for trial. If a custodial sentence or transportation were imposed a family might be deprived of its breadwinner, perhaps leading to its remaining members being forced to seek the 'relief' of the Workhouse.
Workhouse Museums & Gardens
The Workhouse Museum is housed in the Gatehouse building, part of the larger Workhouse site (which visitors are welcome to explore), which contained the Guardians’ Room, Vagrants cells and Receiving Ward for inmates.
We have also worked hard to recreate the original Workhouse Kitchen Garden, located to the rear of the Workhouse Site which would have been tended by the inmates and been used to feed them.
Prison & Police Museum
The museum is housed in a building which formed part of the former House of Correction and Liberty Gaol and which is now an integral part of the overall attraction of the museum. The building's origins go back to the late 17th Century but the part now occupied by the museum was built as Ripon Liberty Prison in 1816 and continued to function as such until May, 1878 when it, along with numerous other local prisons throughout the country, was closed as part of a government reform of prisons.
The museum is housed in the former Quarter Sessions Courthouse built in 1830 to replace its mediaeval predecessor and the interior of the courtroom has not changed much since then. After Quarter Sessions ceased in 1953 the court continued as a Magistrates Court until it closed in 1998. The building is an important part of the museum.
The three museums are open everyday
Workhouse Museum 11 - 4pm
Prison & Police Museum 1 - 4pm
Courthouse Museum 1 - 4pm