“ We are a small independent charitable trust and we open to the public daily from February to December, but we are willing to be as flexible as possible for filming. This location has been used for filming the ‘Heartbeat’ TV series. ”

Sue Dalton, Head of Museums

Architectural History

The Ripon Liberty Courthouse stands just north of Ripon Cathedral in an area which once housed the Archbishop of York's summer palace. It dates from 1830 and replaces earlier buildings which were also used for court purposes. A much later addition to the north provided a juvenile courtroom. With the closure of the Magistrates’ Court about 1990, the buildings were turned into offices for the nearby Cathedral. However, the historic Courtroom, Jury Room and Justices’ Retiring Room were carefully conserved and opened as a museum by Ripon Museum Trust.

Architectural Features

Externally, the building is a modest single-storey structure in magnesian limestone with a slated hipped roof and tall round-headed courtroom windows. Inside, it remains virtually unchanged since construction and houses the gem of a Georgian Courtroom, complete with Magistrates’ Bench, Clerks’ and Advocates' Well, Holding Cell, Prisoner's Dock and Witness Boxes. Benches for the grand and petty juries line the flanking walls. Leading off the Courtroom are the panelled Justices’ Retiring Room and the Jury Room, now housing original court papers and legal tomes. The building has been redecorated inside and out in its original pale Georgian colour scheme to complete the authentic feel.

Filming Attributes

The Courthouse stands on a road making vehicle access to the front door limited. The land around the Courthouse is owned by the local District Council so permission would need to be granted for the use of heavy plant machinery. When closed to the public, the Courthouse provides a suitably private space for filming. There is 3G and normal mobile reception, but no Wi-Fi. There is a good natural light source. Night shoots and the use of hot works can be discussed and animals are permitted in the building. Willing and helpful staff would be made available to assist film crews.


Special Considerations

  • Animals Allowed
  • Hotworks
  • Night Shoots
  • Weekend Shoots


The Courthouse is situated in the town centre opposite Ripon Cathedral. It is surrounded by small paths and grass.

Crew and Relevant Links


Email: info@riponmuseums.co.uk

Phone: 01765 690799

Website: www.riponmuseums.co.uk