Harsh lessons
for the poor

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.

Bob Goodier, a retired policeman now a volunteer at the  Ripon Police and Prison museum
Bob Goodier, a retired policeman now a volunteer at the Ripon Police and Prison museum

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.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

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.

Bobbies on bikes from the East Riding Costabulary, 1910
Bobbies on bikes from the East Riding Costabulary, 1910