Coach Groups

Visitors dressed in Victorian clothing with shawls and bonnets.

We are delighted to welcome coach tours and all tour parties. We hope to see you soon.

Our offer covers one, two or all three museums. We would recommend making a day of it, with a leisurely lunch, which we could provide or we could suggest a restaurant.

Workhouse Museum & Garden

Enter the gates of Ripon Workhouse and you are in the world of the Victorian poor. Climb stairs worn smooth by the feet of paupers making their way to the Guardians Room to plead their case for some help. 

Our guides will take you on the path of the pauper – through the boiler and bathrooms where new arrivals were thoroughly scrubbed with carbolic soap and de-liced before being put to work. Boys and men were put to work in the Kitchen Garden digging the ground and growing the starchy vegetables used in the inmates meals.

Hands-on activities:

  • Rag-rugging session, make a square of rag-rugging, Victorian recycling at its best!
  • Object-handling session using artefacts from our collections.

See downloadable leaflet for current prices.


Prison & Police Museum

Come and visit our 200 year old Prison & Police Museum. Walk past the whipping post, pillory and jougs to be welcomed into our cells telling the story of crime and punishment in the Victorian era.

Our knowledgeable and entertaining guides will take you on a tour of punishment – shot drill, treadmills, prison hulks and tranportation and the development of policing. You will be shut in a cell and stretched on the birching stool – it’s an experience that will stay with you!

Hands-on activity:

● Object-handling session using artefacts from our collections.

See downloadable leaet for current prices.


Courthouse Museum

Opened during the reign of King William IV, to enter our Courthouse is stepping back to an era where the age of criminal responsibility was 7 years old.

Our guides will show you the step in the dock where children would stand in order to see and be seen over the top of the dock panelling. Your tour group can take part in a mock trial with costumes, facilitated by our volunteers. Decide whether the defendent is whipped, sentenced to hard labour or transported to Van Dieman’s Land.

Hands-on activity:

  • Historic mock-trial.

See downloadable leaflet for current prices.

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