Heritage Open Day - What’s Cooking at the Workhouse?

8 September 2018

Free entry to Ripon Workhouse Museum from 11am - 4pm. Have a go at baking Wilfra Cakes in the restored kitchen. Master and Matron will ensure that pauper inmates behave! Master will give tours to respectful visitors at 12pm and 2pm. 

In 1899 a government official suggested that excessive drinking of tea amongst female workhouse inmates was to blame for the number of pauper lunatics. Tea isn’t the only thing on the menu at Ripon Workhouse on Heritage Open Day this year. Have a go at baking Wilfra Cakes, the traditional Yorkshire apple and cheese recipe baked for St Wilfrid’s Day, and follow the trail to the garden with its crop of Dog’s Snout apples. We will be baking in the restored kitchen in Main Block – its window arrangement ensuring that female paupers were unable to see the male workhouse inmates in their work yard outside. The kitchen was strictly women's territory - the garden was looked after by older men and boys. Master and Matron made sure that contact between the male and female workhouse inmates was kept to a minimum. However we will allow some fraternisation on Heritage Open Day - Master will give a tour of the building at 12pm and 2pm. You can also see our temporary exhibition "Rainforest of the Sea" and take part in art activities.