AddressWorkhouse Museum, Allhallowgate, Ripon HG4 1LE
The Workhouse Museum & Garden is now closed for the season and will reopen:
Saturday 10 February 2024
Ticket pricesBook tickets for all museums or just the Workhouse Museum & Garden
AccessibilityView access info for the museum info
Workhouse Museum & Garden
Walk in the footsteps of the Victorian poor
The grim atmosphere of the Workhouse Museum has been carefully maintained in order to give visitors a sense of what life in a Victorian Workhouse could have been.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be poor in Victorian England? Before the welfare system was introduced, those without the means to support themselves would often end up in the workhouse.Book your ticket
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.
The Workhouse Museum occupies two buildings in the centre of Ripon.
Your visit starts in the original Gatehouse building, where you can follow an inmate’s journey through the workhouse, from admittance in the Guardian’s Room, through the indignity of the baths and fumigation process, to the cells where vagrants slept.
Then take a look around the Main Block where you can see the Master’s study and dining room, the pantry, classroom and inmates’ dining hall. Outside the building, you’ll find the Master and Matron’s front garden, which was restored in 2018 with authentic planting.
During your visit save some time to look at the original Workhouse Kitchen Garden, located to the rear of the Workhouse Site, this would have been tended by the inmates and been used to feed them and we use 1860s gardening techniques to cultivate heritage crops.
If you’d like to find out more about the history of the workhouse, click the link below.
Unfortunately, the Workhouse Museum does not have a café although you are welcome to enjoy a pic nic on one of the benches in our kitchen garden.
The health and wellbeing of our visitors is important to us. In response to COVID-19, we have taken additional measures to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all our staff, volunteers and visitors and have received ‘We’re Good to Go’ accreditation from VisitEngland.
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Did you know...
Our building housed vagrants or tramps for two nights at a time; they could not return for 30 days.
We grow vegetables and fruit varieties which could have been found here in 1890.
Vagrants were still housed here in the 1960s; many local people still remember them sitting on the wall outside waiting to be let in.