Prison & Police Museum

Discover the history of crime and punishment

Have you ever wondered what punishments were like in Victorian times? Discover the history of policing in Yorkshire and beyond.
Enter the grim prison with whitewashed cells and barred windows. On the ground floor is a history of policing in Yorkshire from the Anglo-Saxons to the formation of professional policing. Upstairs, crime and punishment is the theme - with many hands-on activities to help imagine the horror of the Victorian prison regime.
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    Prison & Police Museum, St. Marygate, Ripon HG4 1LX
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    Opening times

    The Prison & Police Museum is open daily from:

    10pm - 4pm

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    Ticket prices

    All museums

    • Adult: £19.00
    • Concession: £18.00
    • Child: £10.50
    • Family & Friends: £38.00
    • Small Family: £28.00

    Single Ticket

    • adult: £8.50
    • concession: £8.00
    • child: £6.00
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    Visit time

    One hour
  • accessibility


  • The Prison & Police Museum is on two floors.
  • An access lift is available (dimensions: 100cm x 148cm). When exiting the lift on the first floor, visitors need to open a heavy door. Wheelchair users may need assistance.
  • The cells on the first floor have narrow doorways and a slight step but will allow most wheelchairs through (unless self-powered).
  • Uneven floors especially for the visually impaired.
  • There is low lighting in some parts of the museum.
  • Very worn and uneven stone stairs to the first floor. Handrails provided.
  • There is an accessible toilet available for visitors’ use on the ground floor.

Visit all three museums

A museum pass gives admission to all three of our museums. Our museum tickets are all valid for 12 months. Ripon Museum Trust is a registered charity and our annual tickets and donations are eligible for Gift Aid.

Discover the harsh regimes of the Victorian prison system and the history of Yorkshire policing. 

The Prison & Police Museum is housed in the former Ripon Liberty Prison, which later became Ripon Police Station. It is a fitting setting to explore the history of Yorkshire policing and the harsh realities of the Victorian prison.

Step through the gate into the prison yard, where you can “lock up” your friends and family in the pillory or experience the whipping post. Enter the museum, where our galleries are housed in the original atmospheric prison cells, with their white-washed walls and barred windows.

Downstairs you’ll discover the history of policing in Yorkshire, from the Anglo-Saxons to the formation of professional policing. Police uniform, insignia and transport are all displayed, with the chance to sit on an original police motorcycle.

Tread the stone stairs, worn by the feet of prisoners, to the first floor (or take the lift), where crime and punishment is the theme. Experience the isolation of our empty cell, turn the crank, and learn about other types of punishment, including transportation or the birching chair. Try your hand at detective work with our photo-fit challenge and learn about the science of fingerprinting.

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