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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.
The grim atmosphere of the Workhouse Museum has been carefully maintained in order to give visitors a sense of what life in a Victorian Workhouse could have been.
Sit in a prison cell, hear the door slam shut and imagine the harsh conditions of Victorian prison regimes. Try on prison uniforms, imagine the horror of being set in the pillory, strapped in a restraint chair or hung in chains.
Stand in the dock and be sentenced, find out about the people who were transported to Australia for stealing as little as a pair of boots and see a cat o'nine tails as used on the transport ships in the exhibition.
The Prison & Police Museum and The Workhouse Musuem are currently open from 11am to 4pm daily.
The Courthouse Museum is currently open from 1pm to 4pm daily.
During local school holidays all three museums are open from 10am to 4pm daily.
Maps, directions and opening times, plus other things to do in Ripon
[The Prison & Police Museum was] brilliant the first time, brilliant the second time, can’t wait for number three.