Prison & Police Museum

Step Back in Time: Discover Crime and Punishment in Victorian Yorkshire.

Explore the history of local policing in Yorkshire and beyond. There are fascinating stories from behind the bars exploring prison life, and the rogues from yester year. Step into the prison and hear the cell door slam shut. There are hands on activities to bring the harsh realities of Victorian prison and punishment to life.

National Trust members receive a 25% discount at the three Ripon Museums – The Workhouse Museum  The Prison & Police Museum  The Courthouse Museum

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Prison & Police Museum

1 St Marygate

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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