The Yorkshire Law and Order Museums
Law and Order Trail
Discover law and order history through Ripon’s building treasures associated with the upholding of law and order within Ripon since mediaeval times may be seen in a convenient stroll around the city by following the Law and Order Trail.
The Georgian Courthouse remains virtually unchanged since it was built in 1830. Following closure of the Court in 1998 it was opened as a museum a year later. In 2005 its interiors were redecorated in the original colour scheme used when the building opened at Michelmas 1830.
Prison and Police Museum
The complex of buildings in St Marygate served Ripon as the House of Correction for Vagrants (1686-1816), Liberty Prison (1816-1878) and Police Station (1887-1956). The Museum, first opened in 1984, reopened in 2004 following a complete refurbishment.
Sit in a prison cell, hear the door slam shut and imagine the harsh conditions of Victorian prison regimes. Try on prison uniforms, imagine the horror of being set in the pillory, strapped in a restraint chair or hung in chains. Turn the crank, carry out shot drill or work the treadmill.
The history of policing is traced through displays of uniforms and artefacts from the Trust’s extensive collections of police and prison memorabilia.
Almost all the buildings of the 1854 Ripon Union Workhouse have survived. In 1996 the Trust opened the Workhouse Museum in the cell block which had originally housed male vagrants. Care has been taken to recreate its grim atmosphere.
Winner of Sandford Award 2008.