The complex of buildings in St Marygate was the House of Correction for Vagrants between 1686 and 1816 before it became the Liberty Prison up until 1878.
It was then used as a police station from 1887 to 1956 before the museum first opened in 1984.
The museum is housed in a building which formed part of the former House of Correction and Liberty Gaol.
Houses of Correction were places where the “undeserving poor”, including vagrants and beggars, were set to hard labour. Charges included prostitution, petty theft, and “loose, idle and disorderly conduct”. One magistrate sent three youths to the house of correction for singing.