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Workhouse Museum

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: The Workhouse Museum Allhallowgate, Ripon HG4 1LE, England
Phone Number:
+44 1765 690799
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Open now
See all hours
Sun - Sat 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours


WE ARE CURRENTLY CLOSED FOR THE WINTER SEASON AND WILL REOPEN ON SATURDAY 13TH FEBRUARY 2016. IF YOU ARE A GROUP OR SCHOOL WE CAN ARRANGE SPECIALISED VISITS DURING OUR CLOSED SEASON. Ripon Museums host the trio of the Workhouse Museum, The Prison & Police Museums and Ripon's Courthouse Museum. These museums interpret the history of Law and order and Social Justice through the 18th Century and beyond in Ripon and Yorkshire. Discover how the poor were treated, what the inmates word, what the inmates ate and the hard labour that the paupers and vagrants undertook during their stay at the Workhouse. Become a school pupil in a Victorian classroom See the Collection of Police memorabilia and Victorian punishments in the old Liberty Prison. The Courthouse museum is a fine example of a Georgian building with costumes and props associated with the Victorian legal profession. Family activities during holidays are a great way for the children to be engaged with the history of the buildings and the stories of the past. Suitable for school visits with a comprehensive learning programme offered to teachers and group leaders alike. Annual Passes are available for unlimited repeat visits to all museums - a great value way to explore all 3 sites and return for special exhibitions and events!

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 238 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 134
  • 82
    Very good
  • 18
  • 1
  • 3
Well worth it

Stumbled on this gem seeking shelter from the rain and very pleased we did. Lovely staff on duty today and very helpful. The museum is atmospheric and informative. Sadly due to... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
via mobile
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238 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 238: English reviews
Level Contributor
37 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Stumbled on this gem seeking shelter from the rain and very pleased we did. Lovely staff on duty today and very helpful. The museum is atmospheric and informative. Sadly due to the weather we were unable to see much outside which was a shame. We will certainly return in the future... .

Thank Oldbird1
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Today whilst in the Yorkshire town of Ripon we stumbled upon a bit of our horrible history. Preserved for future generations is the Workhouse museum which looks like it closed to inmates only last week. Stepping through the door you are transported back to the days when the poor were very poor and ran the risk of being placed in... More 

Thank Peter W
Katy O, learning Assistant at Workhouse Museum, responded to this review

Hello Peter, I just wanted to thank you for you lovely review of the Workhouse Museum. Thank you and I hope we can welcome you to Ripon again soon. With Regards Katy O'Malley More 

Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
17 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

The curating and staffing left a lot to be desired. Storyline and exhibits were poorly presented. No real professional work. Concise and well explained social, political and cultural background to the Poor Laws, Industrialisation and Enclosures absent from the Museum. Perhaps they have funding problems? Perhaps working class history is not popular?

Thank LacFraser
Kingston-upon-Hull, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 21, 2017

Very interesting stroll around this museum, but we were told that more buildings will be open during the year as they are currently occupied by (mostly) council departments.

Thank Jackie S
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed March 21, 2017

Great for adults and children alike - historical facts and artifacts really bring the workhouse to life.

Thank Queenelis
Level Contributor
18 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed March 14, 2017

This museum is a great attraction for all of the family highlighting what it was really like in a way people can relate to. The experience was made better by a very helpful staff member Peter who explained in more detail about events and what life was like.

Thank Amy_91Y
Harrogate, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed February 27, 2017

The enthusiastic volunteers make the museum a vibrant and welcoming place. There are activities which engaged our children of 6 and 9. The concepts of poverty and homelessness are well presented for children, without being too scary or upsetting. Our children were stimulated by their visit and we will definitely visit again and look in more detail at areas we... More 

1 Thank sarah c
Wetherby, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
32 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed February 21, 2017

Very interesting and educational. Really does show how hard life was for the have not's. Can thin of a number of people who should visit here so they appreciate exactly how easy their lives are now. Good value for money as well as you can get this, the Police and Prison museum and the court museum all for £12.00 and... More 

Thank cockneyshaun
Ripon, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed February 18, 2017

Feel a bit of a fraud but... on a Monday afternoon I run a Stitch Knit and Natter group (and don't we natter!!!) All the ladies that attend speak to visitors of the museum and show them what and how they make items that sell in the Workhouse shop. Most important is how to make a rag rug, visitors can... More 

Thank 889val
Blackpool, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
441 reviews
229 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 338 helpful votes
Reviewed January 30, 2017

This was the third place to visit as part of our trilogy, having already been to the Courthouse and Police Museum - as an individual museum they all have so much interest and when you rate all 3 they are an excellent attraction. This particular museum had a lot of sadness due to the difficult working environment - many families... More 

2 Thank davidwilliambarnes

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  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
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  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?