15 September 2013

Kariss Visits: Ripon Museums

When I was a kid my mum would always take me to a museum or something similar once a week during the summer holidays.  Now I'm 25 and my younger sister is 17 but it's still something we try and do.  After deciding we didn't want to travel too far I began looking for things to do in Yorkshire that we hadn't already been to.  Eventually I stumbled upon Ripon and it's three museums, the Workhouse Museum and Gardens, the Police and Prison Museum and the Courthouse Museum.

So we jumped in the car and off we went, all the museums are within walking distance of each other and you can buy a ticket that allows you to visit all three for much less then buying them all separately and once you've bought the ticket, you can come back all year for free!  First off we went to the Workhouse Museum

Top: Museum entrance
Bottom: Museum Gardens 
This was the largest and I believe the most interesting of the museums. The Museum is built into an original work house which really adds to the authenticity and feel of the building, knowing that you are walking into rooms which were used for the purpose that are being discussed.  It takes you through the rooms where the people who owned the workhouse worked, in stark contrast to the rooms the destitute and homeless stayed in.  Behind the museum, buildings still remain that made up the factories people worked in and although they are now used for community purposes it is still interesting to see.

Next up we visited the Police and Prison Museum 
Adding to my collection of "pictures of myself in stilly hats at museums" 
It was explained as we entered that it used to be the local prison, and later the police station, for this reason it is split into two sections, downstairs was police history and upstairs jail history.  It was strange but really cool going round a museum where all the exhibits are in jail cells.  The building has been barley changed for 100s of years (including the stairs) so it's a really interesting place to wonder round.

And lastly the Courthouse Museum 

Another museum using a building that uses its original purpose.  This is the smallest of all the museums but is a nice add on to the others.  The courtroom is basically unchanged since the 1830's and although there are only three rooms it's worth checking out.  Educational and interesting with of the obligatory british museum dummies, always on the right side of creepy.

I wouldn't say that individually these are worth going out of your way to see as none of them are a full day alone, but together they make for a fun family day out.  Theres plenty of information for all ages in all 3 and with them closing at 4 it leaves you time to check out Ripon too, I just wish I'd taken more photos.  What's that, not enough silly hats? ok then....



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