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Historic Towns & Picturesque Villages

Pictures of Ripon

a Historic City in the county of North Yorkshire

About Ripon

Historically, the Diocese of Ripon was founded in 1836 it is therefore considered to be relatively modern. This is a fact which belies the origins of its lovely Cathedral which dates from the 12th-century and has a Saxon crypt that is said to be the earliest Christian survival in England. It is now a strong room and holds treasures from other churches in Yorkshire as well as a priceless collection of ancient silver. Architecturally, the Cathedral contains features from all the great English church building periods and includes a superb western front, a great east window which is over 50ft high and supported by buttresses and a splendid 16th-century Gothic nave.

Bishop Wilfrid of York, founded a monastry on this site in the year 669, and the atmosphere of the Cathedral is such that it takes you straight back to the early days of christianity in the north when the church was was ruled by great personalities and was at the centre of daily life.

Interestingly, the towers to the Cathedral originally had spires but the last spire was removed in the year 1664, some years after the cathedral's central spire had fallen. None-the-less, this remains an awe inspiring building which is a constant source of fascination and full of ancient reminders of a glorious and noble past.

Every night Ripons market square is the scene of a 1,000 year old custom when the city Wakeman blows his horn. For this ancient ceremony the Wakeman wears a Tricorn hat and sounds his horn at each corner of the Obelisk in the square, informing the towns-folk that he had begun his night watch over the town. The half timbered 14th-century house in the square was once the Wakemans residence, it is now an interesting museum that tells of local history.

A short journey from Ripon are the romantic ruins of Fountains Abbey, they can be found in a lovely secluded wooded valley, and are recorded as being the finest ruins in England and are remarkably well preserved. A Cistercian Abbey was begun here in 1134, it grew to become the richest cistercian house in England by the 13th-century and was disolved in 1539. With the late evening sun casting long shadows over the ancient remains, Fountains Abbey becomes wrapped in a magical atmosphere, it is a sight which is simply overwhelming.

Ripon today is a lively and interesting town with much to offer the visitor. It is a fine centre for commerce and has up to the minute shopping facilities and good sporting facilities which include a well known racecourse. In a favoured situation close to the beautiful Yorkshire Dales, Ripon is surrounded by a wealth of fine countryside. Other attractions in the area; Lightwater Valley, Marmion Tower and the Theakston Brewery Visitors Centre. After a pleasant day visiting the delightful sights of Ripon, call in to a local inn, tuck in to a delicious home-cooked meal and enjoy it with a tasty glass of Theakstons!

Interesting & Historical Facts about Ripon

The small historic cathedral city of Ripon, in the county of North Yorkshire, is the oldest city in England. It is also the fourth smallest city in England, with a population of around 17,000.

Ripon facts | North Yorkshire facts

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