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about Ripon

Ripon is a cathedral city in North Yorkshire, England, 214 miles NNW from London.

It is pleasantly situated at the confluence of the streams Laver and Skell with the River Ure, which is crossed by a fine bridge of nine arches. The streets are for the most part narrow and irregular, and, although most of the houses are comparatively modern, some of them retain the picturesque gables characteristic of earlier times.

The cathedral, although not ranking among those of the first class, is celebrated for its fine proportions, and is of great interest from the various styles of architecture which it includes. Its entire length from east to west is 266 feet, the length of the transepts 130 feet, and the width of the nave and aisles 87 feet. Besides a large square central tower, there are two western towers. The cathedral was founded on the ruins of St Wilfrid's abbey about 680, but of this Saxon building nothing now remains except the crypt, called St Wilfrid's Needle.

The present building was begun by Archbishop Roger (1154-1181), and to this transition-period belong the transepts and portions of the choir. The western front and towers, fine specimens of Early English, were probably the work of Walter de Grey, archbishop of York (d. 1255), and about the close of the century the eastern portion of the choir was rebuilt in the Decorated style. The nave, portions of the central tower, and two bays of the choir are perpendicular--having been rebuilt towards the close of the 15th century. Earlier than the rest of the fabric (except the crypt) is part of the chapter-house and the vestry, adjoining the south side of the choir, and terminating eastward in an apse. This is pure Norman work, and there is a crypt of that period beneath, which was formerly filled with unburied bones.

There are a number of monuments of historical and antiquarian interest. The diocese includes rather less than one-third of the parishes of Yorkshire, and also a small part of Lancashire. The bishop's palace, a modern building in Tudor style, is situated in extensive grounds about a mile from the town. In the vicinity is the domain of Studley Royal, the seat of the marquess of Ripon, which contains the celebrated ruins of Fountains Abbey. The principal secular buildings are the town hall, the public rooms, and the mechanics' institution (1894). There are several old charities, including the hospital of St John the Baptist, founded in 1109 but modernized; the hospital of St Anne, founded probably in the reign of Henry VI by an unknown benefactor; and the hospital of St Mary Magdalene for women. This last was founded by Thurstan, archbishop of York (1114-1141), as a secular community, one of the special duties of which was to minister to lepers. In the 13th century a master and chaplain took the place of the lay brethren, and in 1334 a chantry was founded. The chapel remains, with its interesting Norman work, its low side-windows, said to have allowed the lepers to follow the services, and its pre-Reformation altar of stone, a rare example.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Ripon".

This city is also known as: Ripon.

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