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Newcastle upon Tyne, England, United Kingdom
December 11, 2009
From journal A Trip to North Yorkshire
Ayr, Scotland, United Kingdom
March 22, 2003
The inside of the cathedral contains 800 years of craftsmanship in stone and wood in the nave and choir, and there is a medieval stained-glass window. The lovely ceiling bosses depict Biblical scenes. Tall graceful arches and clustered columns with carved stone capitals and corbels, and a superb example of early 14th century stone tracery in the colourful east window gives the cathedral majesty.
Above the choir stalls and canons' seats are elegant pinnacled canopies. The choir stalls with their carved set of 34 misericords created by a local citizen between 1489 and 1491 are the most exquisite - and amusing - examples of this medieval craft. Among them are the well-proportioned elephant and the griffin and rabbit misericord, which inspired Lewis Caroll to write Alice in Wonderland.
A screen created by Leslie Durban in the 1970s separates the Chapel of the Holy Spirit in the south choir aisle. Fine roof bosses project above the choir and in the Library there are manuscripts including the illuminated Charter of Restoration, issued by King James I. Below the cathedral is a Saxon crypt, which is less than 10 feet high and 7 feet wide but is one of the oldest in Europe being part of the original stone church of 672. A first-rate example of the early building style remains in The Chapel of Resurrection.
From the early church Wilfrid, Bishop of York, controlled the diocese of the north. After Wilfrid’s time Ripon lost its cathedral status and in 950 the Danes destroyed the church. In 1069 the Normans laid waste the replacement church. Thomas Bayeux, the first Norman Archbishop of York, began the third church on the site in 1080.
By the late 12th century, Ripon had received a large sum of money for rebuilding in the Norman Transitional style. In the early 14th century its shrine of St Wilfrid became one of the most important centres of pilgrimage in the north.
During the next 100 years the church gained a Chapter House, an impressive West Front, and an enlarged East End. In 1450 part of the central tower collapsed and was never fully rebuilt but at the end of the 15th century the church gained its spectacular choir stalls, with their elaborately carved misericords.
The 16th century saw the nave rebuilt. Ripon suffered damage and desecration during the Reformation and even more during the Civil War. In 1660 the spire of the central tower collapsed causing damage to the choir stalls, and in 1664 builders for safety reasons removed the spires from the twin towers.
Neglected in the 18th century Ripon afterwards underwent important restoration and in 1836 advanced to becoming a cathedral. The wonderful building that exists today is a result of these centuries of rebuilding.
From journal Exploring Historical North Yorkshire
Todmorden, England, United Kingdom
August 30, 2002
The first of these is its 7th century crypt, which is formed by a Saxon church built by St Wilfred on the site. This is unique in the country and is easily accessed by steps down.
The other feature of great distinction is the wood carving on the choir stalls dating from the late 15th century. It is sometimes very amusing as well as immensely skilled. Lewis Carroll is said to have been most impressed by the carvings which include a griffon chasing a rabbit down a hole.
The other centre of interest in Ripon is the market Square where markets have been held since the 12th century. This still feels like a town centre with superb Georgian and Mediaeval buildings, including the ancient Wakeman's House, a half-timbered building, and the Town Hall. An ancient event which has been continued is the appearance of the historic town cryer at 21:00 every evening.
From journal Harrogate and its wonderful area