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GO Museums in Harrogate

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 action.

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 museums.

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 man lived.

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