Museums in Harrogate
A visit to historical Harrogate wouldn’t be complete
without stepping back in time and seeing some of its finest
hours from years gone by.
Your first stop on the history trail should be to The
Royal Pump Room [map] on Crown Place, which is
perhaps Harrogate’s best museum. Here you’ll
be able to enjoy many displays recalling the elegance
of a bygone era and telling the story of Harrogate’s
fame as England’s only truly European spa.
You can see some of the Spa treatments that the Edwardians
used and even see some of the more bizarre remedies in
If you’ve a thirst for some of history’s more
gruesome moments, then you should definitely head over
to Ripon during your visit and check out two of its best
The Yorkshire Law and Order Musem on Minster Road,
was once a working courtroom standing on the very site
of its predecessor. When the courthouse closed its doors
in 1998 the building became a museum to all things judiciary.
After you’ve seen how the guilty were charged and
sentenced (or sometimes released) you can then head to
The House of Correction, Prison and Police Museum [map] at St Marygate, Ripon.
Visit Ripon jail and see the displays about crime and
punishment, imprisonment and law enforcement during
the previous centuries. You can also see what it was like
to stand on the hangman’s gallows or spend some
time in the stocks.
Allhallowgate [map], Ripon, is the place to find The
Workhouse Museum of Poor Law, which is a restored
building dating back to 1877 and shows how Yorkshire’s
paupers were treated and the harsh conditions that
men, women and children had to endure.
For a very different kind of museum head out past Knaresborough
to the River Nidd and St Robert’s Cave [map]. This
rare hermit’s cave was home to Robert of Knaresborough
during the 12th and 13th century.
Pilgrims flocked to Robert in his lifetime, and they continued
to come to the cave in large numbers for centuries after
his death in 1218. Pilgrims came to be healed of physical
ailments, for spiritual direction, or simply to be
close to the home of a revered holy man.
Today, visitors continue to come to St Robert’s
Cave to simply see the place where this extraordinary
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