Friday, October 29, 2010

Ripon Cathedral, Yorkshire

 Ripon Cathedral, one of England's first stone churches

Just 20 miles southeast of Leyburn in the Yorkshire Dales lies the city of Ripon.  Ripon Cathedral was begun in 660 AD by St. Wilfrid, the son of an Anglo Saxon noble. After living in a Celtic monastery at Lindisfarne, Wilfrid, at age 18, made the trip to Rome (still can't get over how these people managed to travel in those days!). The next three years there changed his life and he made the decision to become a monk.

Back in Northumbria, Wilfrid made such an impression on the Northumbrian king, that Roman customs were imposed throughout the Northumbrian church and Wilfrid was appointed Bishop of York at age 30.

Passageway to the Crypt, built in 672 by Wilfrid, who tried to replicate what he thought Christ's tomb would have looked like. He kept relics there for pilgrims to see, a place where they could pray and worship.

The Crypt

Beautiful wood structure surrounds the clerestory windows

Pipe Organ
We sat in on the noon prayers. We were among the five people present in this huge building. All the saints' statues were shrouded since it was the Lenten season.

Below the pipe organ, the wood hand, a mechanical choir director

A sign in the quire read '15th century misericords. Please do not touch.' The misericords are a little ledge on the bottom of the chair where, when the chair is folded up, still provide a slight ledge upon which the monks might rest during long periods of standing. This carving, above, represents a griffin chasing a rabbit down a rabbit hole. When Charles Dodgson aka Lewis Carroll was 20 years old, his father was Canon at Ripon Cathedral. It is thought that the carving (above) may have been inspiration for Alice in Wonderland.

Rood Screen, Dividing Quire from the Nave - right side of archway

Rood Screen - left side of archway

Stained glass - Melchizadek and Moses

 Street in Ripon, looking toward the Cathedral

I loved the colorful flowers and buildings in Ripon

There's so much to see, so much history to learn, in England. And the connections! Lewis Carroll, an Anglican clergyman and mathematician, teaching for many years at Christ Church, Oxford. And it was George MacDonald's children's response to Carroll's tales that inspired him to get his work published? Isn't this stuff just so fascinating!!

When I was relating this to my husband, who views the world through a slightly different lens than I do, he responded,'Well, it IS a rather small island, you know.'  

Author, Second Chance - A Tale of Two Puppies
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Denise said...

I enjoy your tours so much, love you my friend.

Unknown said...

You know, there is something about a European town that distinguishes itself from our American towns. It must be the buildings... I can just look a pic, and know I am not in the US anymore. They just ooze history and experience. LOVE the stained glass windows. Thanks for sharing!

Unknown said...

What a gorgeous cathedral! The walkway to the crypt if bit creepy looking..but then again, so is the thought of a crypt :) As always, thanks for taking us on the tour with you! I love seeing the old buildings in Europe!

partialemptynester said...

OOoooh, I just love juicy little tidbits like this one! I was never a big fan of Alice in Wonderland...just gave me the creeps...but my daughter loves the story so much, has thoroughly enjoyed the movies (new and old), and is now going as Alice to her costume party tomorrow what a timely post!

I could stand and stare at the artistry of old European churches for hours, so incredible...I, too, marvel at how they traveled and how the crafted back then, the time and focus it took...amazing!

Judy S. said...

Did you get to the library in London where they have the original Lewis Carroll Alice? Your cathedral made me think of Ripon WI; wonder if there's any connection?

Unknown said...

They just don't make buildings like that anymore...

It is amazing how connected everything was back then.

J_on_tour said...

A Great set of pictures and stories. It's always nice to see some different viewpoints inside cathedrals as everyone including myself becomes "over awed" into photographing the standard views. It's interesting that although the Cathedral is a bit smaller in comparison to the town, it is still a grand building as the shots you have taken here...prove. I like the last two pictures of the town as well.
It may surprise you to know, even though you have seen my photos of Ripon cathedral at night (passing back through from Grassington), that I have never been to Ripon in the day time since childhood...that answers the question you asked about my interior Cathedral shots which I didn't forget about. I was in Masham last week for another walking group moment and Leyburn is another place on my list to visit. (thanks to my Lakes & Scotland trip, I'm 5 weeks behind in my posts, so a few other things are coming first)

Cranberry Morning said...

If you're interested in learning if there's a connection between Ripon, Yorkshire and Ripon, Wisconsin, try this:

Midwest to Midlands said...

Yes I agree, there is so much fascinating history to discover in England. Very thorough research you do and report! As your husband says it is a small island - yet it packs in a lot of history. have you read Bill Bryson's book - Notes from a Small Island? To answer your question it gets down to about 0 Centigrade in the winter, not usually much snow, but last winter was the worst in 30 years. It is a damp cold here, but nothing compared to Wisconsin winters, it's just that you are prepared for it in Wisconsin.

Anonymous said...

More places to add to my list when we go back! Amazing craftsmanship, and you can just imagine the echoes of centuries of people coming and going.

Cranberry Morning said...

Yeah, the place just oozes history. The plaque on the gate says it all. I mean, how many cathedrals can you find around here that are even three hundred years old, let alone thirteen hundred!

Along with Midwest to Midlands, I recommend the book 'Notes From a Small Island' by Bill Bryson. What a fun book! :-)


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