Museum to give online talks on Ripon history

Ripon Museum Trust has announced a series of online talks and workshops that will run throughout the autumn.

The season starts on Thursday September 23 with Art in Prison: Creativity and the Criminal Justice System.

“This talk explores how can art benefit people in the criminal justice system, as well as examining how artists can be inspired by archival material,” said Marketing Manager Amy Lord.

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“Speakers include Jo Tapp, Arts Manager at Koestler Arts; Susanna Menis, Lecturer in Law at Birkbeck London University; and Neil Dembry, Custodial Manager at Askham Grange in York, who talk about their experiences of art and archival research, creative projects in prisons and the impact they can have on the people taking part.”

On Thursday October 28, visitors can join an exploration of Victorian criminality with Shocking Murder during the Investigating Suspicious Death in Victorian Ripon.

“In 1874, two savage murders rocked Ripon,” added Amy.

“In both cases, the formal murder investigation began with an inquest.

“In this talk, postgraduate student Sophie Michell will discuss how Victorian coroners worked, and how inquests formed the basis of a murder trial.”

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Aspiring writers can take part in an online workshop inspired by archival material from the Workhouse Museum on Thursday November 11.

The Writing the Workhouse: Creating Fiction from Found Materials workshop will be led by novelist and short story writer Amy Lord.

During the session, participants will explore how to write in response to found material, using it as a spark for their imagination.

Two further talks will also take place later in the year, on the themes of transportation to Australia and Dickens and foundlings.

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Home or Away: Life After Transportation to Australia will be on Thursday November 25and will discuss the use of transportation as a punishment in Victorian England and consider what life might have been like for convicts after their sentence was complete.

On Thursday December 16, Dickens and the Poor Law: Foundlings in Victorian England will explore the impact of the New Poor Law on the work of Charles Dickens and what it meant to be a foundling in Victorian England.

Tickets for each session cost £5 per person and can be booked via All sessions take place on Zoom.

Contact the museum team by emailing [email protected] or call 01765 690799.

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