Follow the story of poverty, crime and punishment through our three museums, as you discover what life was like in the workhouse, prison and courthouse.
Desperation often led the poor to a life of petty crime, and the punishments were cruel and severe. Find out why people ended up here and what happened to them.
The Prison & Police Museum is housed in the former Ripon Liberty Prison, which became Ripon Police Station.
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. Tread the stone stairs worn by the feet of prisoners to explore the harsh and cruel punishments handed out to the petty criminal. Sit in a prison cell and hear the door slam, turn the crank, have your fingerprints taken.
Please note there are no toilet facilities at the Prison & Police Museum.