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Entertain the Family

Get dressed up as a police officer or a Victorian convict at the Prison & Police Museum! Lock up the grown-ups in the cells, Try out our police motorbike and find out whether you would make a good witness!

Follow the family trail at the Courthouse Museum and stand in the dock for a guilty or not guilty verdict. Discover what happened to some convicts after they were sentenced and the long hard journey they had to go on.

What happened to children in the Workhouse? Dress as a pauper and sit in a Victorian Schoolroom. Find out what happened to Jane and learn about the food you would have had to eat! Go down to the garden and discover all the wildlife who visit it.

Explore the Human Story

Workhouse staff and guests Christmas 1934

Listen to the real life experiences of people like Alma, who lived for a while in the Workhouse during the war years.

Sinkler brothers in prisoner uniform

Follow the story of the Sinkler brothers at the Prison & Police Museum, convicted poachers who were individually tried and transported for various crimes including attempted murder.


Discover the fascinating stories of people who were convicted at Ripon Courthouse, sent to Van Diemen’s Land and then settled down there, their descendents eventually coming to Ripon to stand in the same dock over a 100 years later!

Got a passion for history?

All our buildings are connected by the theme of Law & Order. Discover the fate of a typical poor Victorian family as a husband and father is convicted at the Courthouse for stealing food out of desperation and sent to Prison before being transported to Australia. His wife and children probably ending up at the Workhouse, separated and without hope.

Do something extraordinary

We have many events throughout the year to entertain, educate and involve everybody… Keep an eye on our events page for up to date details.

Just passing through

If you only have time to see one museum, make sure you don’t miss out!

The Workhouse Museum & Garden is one of the country’s best examples of a Victorian Workhouse. Smell the carbolic soap as you discover the reality of a pauper’s fate. Visit our fully restored kitchen garden and enjoy the beds of authentic Victorian varieties of  fruit, vegetables and herbs that would have been grown here by inmates in 1890.

See our extensive collection of historical police objects at the Prison & Police Museum including our extensive collection of restraints, truncheons and medals. Plenty of dressing up to do for children and even a modern motorcycle to sit on!

Discover what being the Liberty of Ripon meant at the Courthouse Museum and learn about what happened in a Courtroom in the 1800s. Experience standing in the dock and waiting for your sentence!

Enjoy the city

Ripon is a cathedral city but with a market town atmosphere. There’s plenty to see and do from walks along the river & canal, following  the Law & Order Trail (which includes our three museums), visit our many independent shops and cafes, and, if you’re around in the evening, listen to the famous Ripon Hornblower at 9pm every night in the market square.

Discover more about the exciting world of law and order at the Ripon Museum Trust with our new audio guides.

diners in the workhouse museum

Special Events

We can help you organise an event to remember - from ghoulish tours to delicious dinner parties and even weddings – Ripon museums offers the chance to hold something really unique!