Youth Groups

Teenagers dressed as prisoners escaping from the Police and Prison Museum.

Come and enjoy a morning or full day at Ripon Museums. Pick and mix a selection of hands-on activities and self-led trails for an excellent experience of being poor in Victorian times. You can take in one, two or three museums but I would recommend limiting yourself to two otherwise it can be a bit rushed.

Workhouse Child

Experience hard work and no play – the life of a Victorian workhouse boy or girl. Meet Matron who will explain the rules; hands out of pockets, don’t speak until spoken to and always be polite and obey your elders. Then off to work with our carousel of hands-on activities:

  • Victorian Schoolroom. Take a lesson with our strict Schoolmaster or mistress. Learn to write on a slate.
  • Laundry. Hard work using dolly tubs, scrubbing on the washboard, using the mangle.
  • Chores (Garden chores – weather permitting) beating carpets, sweeping, polishing.
  • Rag-rugging. Nothing gets thrown away. Make a patch of rag-rug to take home from recycled material.


Prison & Police Museum

At the Prison & Police Museum:

a. Sinkler Brothers role-play. This is the story of notorious poachers, John and Elisha Sinkler and their arrest. Played out with costumes and props the tale covers early policing, setting up of a professional police force and transportation.

b. Doin’ Time. A tour of the cells which completes the story of the Sinkler Brothers and also introduces other forms of punishment – public shaming, a birching stool as well as allow pupils to experience being in a shut cell.


Courthouse Museum

An historic trial in our Georgian Courthouse with all its fittings: the original dock, witness boxes, magistrates’ bench and jury bench. All pupils can take part e.g. as defendant. The trial is acted out with a script, costumes etc and then the group breaks into two groups in separate rooms to discuss whether the trial was fair and decide on a verdict and punishment. The trial focuses on the theft of a loaf of bread.

Price per group member £6 for a half day and £8 for a full day ( a £2 surcharge is made for Evenings and Weekend).

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