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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 three museums are open everyday
Workhouse Museum 10-4pm, Prison & Police Museum 10-4pm, Courthouse Museum 10-4pm,
Maps, directions and opening times, plus other things to do in Ripon
I really liked that everyone was very nice and friendly and let you join in. It was all very interesting and I would love to come again.