Ripon Museums – Know Before You Go
It was great news when we heard that the Ripon Museums were open and even better to get an opportunity to visit last week. The Workhouse Museum and Garden, Prison and Police Museum and the Courthouse Museum have all received VisitEngland COVID-19 accreditation and it was evident from the start that excellent safety measures have been put in place.
Parking – Parking is situated conveniently near to the museums in the main city car parks next to the bus station. On street permit parking closer to the museums is also available.
Entrance to the Workhouse Museums and Gardens – all entrance tickets are pre-booked but the timeslot indicates arrival times only so there is certainly no rush to look around. It is recommended to spend at least 1.5 hours to fully appreciate the Workhouse Museum & Garden; 1 hour for the Prison & Police Museum and 45 minutes for the Courthouse Museum. Visitor numbers are limited and safety procedures are prominent from arrival with clever use of 2m white stone distancing markers leading up to the Workhouse Museum. It is then simply a case of presenting your ticket at reception and then enjoying the amazing Workhouse Museum. Track and Trace is in place at all 3 museums.
Entrance to the Prison and Police Museum and Courthouse Museum– a short walk from the Workhouse in the direction of Ripon Cathedral is the Prison and Police Museum. Entry is again simple with restrictions and clear signage throughout to ensure that social distancing is maintained. Around the corner from the Prison and Police Museum, and in the shadow of the beautiful Ripon Cathedral, is the Courthouse Museum. The same entrance and safety procedures are in place here too.
Attraction Experiences – walking around the Workhouse Museum is an amazing experience and very humbling. The imposing Gatehouse building with the Receiving Ward and Vagrants’ cells were extremely eye-opening, especially to the two young children I had in tow who hopefully appreciate modern life a bit more now!. The Main Block houses the Master’s study and dining room as well as a classroom and inmates dining hall. There are numerous other captivating rooms and areas of great interest to enjoy and the Museum gives insight into an almost self-sufficient world of its own. The Prison and Police Museum and Courthouse Museum provide the opportunity to get some great photos whether that be of loved ones in the stocks, or naughty ones stood in the dock! The overall visitor experience at all 3 museums is mesmerising with so much to see as you step back through history.
Sanitiser Stations – Stations are plentiful, especially in entrance areas. It was also pleasing to witness people using them.
Do you have to wear a Face Covering? – Yes. Adults and children (11 and over) must wear a face covering in the Museums unless medically exempt.
Verdict – excellent and educational. Ripon Museum’s have introduced all procedures to make the public feel completely safe in all 3 locations. Social distancing measures, clear signage and a strict cleaning regime are very noticeable from the start to finish of the visit. Highly recommended.