Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for RIPON

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RIPON, a city, a township, a parish, a sub-district, a district, a liberty, and a diocese, in W. R. Yorkshire. The city stands on a sheltered site, declining from the N W toward the confluence of the river Ure with the Laver and the Skell, adjacent to the Leeds section of the North eastern railway, 23 miles N W by W of York. The railway, through ramifications and connexions, gives itcommunication with all parts of the kingdom; and itpasses the city on a lofty embankment, and has a stationabout ½ a mile distant, in the township of Sharow. Acanal also, formed in 1767, having a basin and wharvesin Bondgate-green, and going into junction with thenavigable reaches of the river Ure, affords conveyance forgoods to very many parts of England.

History.—The city is supposed to take its name from the Latin Ripa, signifying "the bank of a river." It isthought, by some antiquaries, to have been a settlement and even the capital of the Brigantes, and afterwards asettlement of the Romans; but it does not figure in anyrecord as having been either British or Roman, it has furnished only few and scanty relics of the British and the Roman time's, and it stands 3 miles W of the line of Watling-street. A Culdee monastery was founded atit, in 661, by Eata, abbot of Melrose; passed soon to afraternity of less primitive character; went under thesuperintendence of Wilfrid, archbishop of York; was re-built in 690, on a grander scale, by that prelate; and, together with a town which had arisen around it, wasdestroyed in 860 by the Danes. A conical tumulus, called Ailey Hill, on the E side of the city, is supposed to have been formed over the corpses of the monks and citizens then slaughtered by the Danes; and it containslarge quantities of human bones, and has yielded a number of Saxon coins. Alfred, about 886, restored themonastery and the city; and he appointed a "wakeman"to blow a horn periodically as a warning against thieves; and the custom of doing so continues to be observed tillthe present day. Athelstan gave to the monastery theright of frithstool and sanctuary, the same as to themonasteries of Hexham and Beverley; and one of fourstones which marked the boundaries of the precinct stillstands in Sharow township. The monastery and the citywere destroyed again, in 948, by Edred; wasted, in 1069, by William the Conqueror; and burnt, in 1319 and 1323, by Robert Bruce. The city was inhabited, for some timein 1405, by Henry IV. and all his court; was visited, in 1617, by James I., on his way to Scotland; was visited, in 1633 and 1644, by Charles I.; was the scene of negotiations, in 1640, between the Scottish lords and the English commissioners; was held, for a short time in 1643, by a parliamentarian force, and rescued from themby a royalist force under Sir John Mallorie; and wasshaken, in 1834, by an earthquake, which, at about a mile from it, made a fissure nearly 60 feet wide and 72feet deep. The city was the birthplace of Burton theantiquary; had Archbishop Hutton and Bishop Porteousas pupils at its grammar-school; and gives the title of Earl to the family of Robinson.

Structure.—The city rises in gentle acclivities, on almost every side, toward the centre; but rises somewhatmore abruptly from the Skell, and has a suburb on thefarther bank of that rivulet. It formerly presented anantique appearance, with timbered houses and gabled fronts; but, since the beginning of the present century, it has been generally reconstructed and very much improved; yet it still presents, in many of the modernhouses, the picturesque gable-front character. Most of the streets are narrow; but the market-place, in the centre, is an oblong 345 feet by 243. The town hall stands on the S side of the market-place; was built in 1801, after a design by Wyatt, at the expense of Mrs. Allanson of Studley; is a plain but tasteful edifice with an Ionicfront; and has a lower room, used as a news-room, and containing a marble bust of Mrs. Lawrence, and an upperroom, used as an assembly-room, and containing a full-length portrait of Mrs. Allanson. An obelisk, 90 feethigh, stands in the centre of the market-place; and was erected in 1781, at the expense of W. Aislabie, Esq., whorepresented the city in parliament for 60 years. A Russian gun, taken at Sebastopol, is beside the obelisk, and bears an inscription, with the names of natives of Ripon and its neighbourhood who served in the Crimean war. The public rooms are in Low Skellgate, and were erected in 1834. The court-house is in Hall-yard, Kirkgate. The jail for Ripon liberty is in St. Mary-gate, and hascapacity for 16 male and 6 female prisoners. A recently-erected temperance-hall is on Duck-Hill-bank. A seven-teen-arched bridge, 768 feet long, crosses the Ure.

The Cathedral.—The monastic structures erected by Eata and Wilfrid have left no remains. The presentcathedral is mainly a minster begun in 1154, carried tocompletion not earlier than 1340, and subjected tochanges and restorations at various periods down to thepresent day. The W front, the central tower, the tran-sept, and a portion of the choir and the aisles were built in 1154-81, by Archbishop Roger de Bishops bridge; thechoir underwent considerable repairs in 1288-1300; thechoir aisles were doubled in length, in 1319-40, by Arch-bishop Melton; octagonal spires were placed on the threetowers, in the time of Edward III.; the central spire fellin 1660, and the others were taken down in 1664; variousparts were altered and repaired in 1829 and subsequentyears; and the entire pile underwent restoration in 1861-8, under the superintendence of Mr. G. G. Scott, at a cost of about £32,000. The edifice consists of twowestern towers and a central tower, each 120 feet high; an aisled nave of six bays, 169½ feet long, 87 feet wide, and 88 feet high; a transept of two bays and four Echapels, 132 feet long and 36 feet wide; an aisled choir of six bays 101 feet long, 66½ feet wide, and 79 feet high; an apsidal chapter-house 34½ feet long, 29 feet wide, and 18½ feet high; and a vestry 28 feet long and 18½ feethigh. The entire pile is 270 feet long; and a crypt isunder it, 11¼ feet long, 7¾ feet wide, and 9¼ feet high. The architecture is variously transition Norman, early English, decorated, and perpendicular. The W front isbold early English, plain yet elegant, of good proportions, 103 feet high and 43 feet wide. The nave rangesfrom early English to perpendicular, and has no triforium. The interior of the central tower is partly Norman, partlyperpendicular. The choir is mainly decorated English, and has a triforium. A beautiful screen, 19 feet high, ofdate 1489-94, and said to have been brought from Fountains abbey, stands at the entrance of the choir. The stalls are of rich tabernacle work, and bear the date 1494. A Lady chapel, built in 1482, surmounts the chapter-house, and is now the library. The chief monuments, in the cathedral, are an altar-tomb of Sir T. Markenfield, of the time of Richard II.; an effigies of another Sir T. Markenfield, of 1483; seven sepulchral slabs of the 17thcentury; an emblematic sculpture of an Irish crusaderprince; a bust of W. Weddell, by Nollekens; and monuments of Sir William and Sir John Mallorie. The Bishop's palace stands on a slight eminence about a mileto the N W; was built in 1841, after designs by Mr. Rail-ton; and is a fine edifice, in the Tudor style.

Churches and Institutions.—The cathedral serves asthe parish church. Trinity church serves for a chapelryconstituted in 1853, and having a pop. of 2, 848 in 1861; stands at the end of Blossomgate; was built in 1826, at a cost of £13,000; and is a cruciform structure, in the pointed style, with tower and spire 136 feet high. The Independent chapel was built in 1827; the Primitive Methodist one, in 1821. The Wesleyan chapel was re-built in 1861, at a cost of £2, 200; and is in the Italianstyle. The Methodist New Connexion chapel was built in 1860, and is a handsome edifice. The Roman Catholic chapel was built in 1862; and is an elegant structure, in the Lombardo-Gothic style. The grammar-school was founded by Edward VI., and has £773 a year from endowment. Jephson's hospital or school, for maintaining and educating ten boys, has £176. One national schoolis for boys; another is for girls; and a third is for boys, girls, and infants. The mechanics' institution dates asan establishment from 1831, as a building from 1849. There are a girls' industrial home, a dispensary, threesuites of alms-houses with £863 from endowment, and other charities £459.

Trade.—Ripon has a head post-office, ‡ a railway station with telegraph, four banking offices, and four chiefinns; is a seat of sessions and county courts, and a polling-place; and publishes a weekly newspaper. A weekly market is held on Thursday; and fairs, on the last Thursday of Jan., 13 and 14 May, the first Thursday and Friday of June, the first Thursday of Nov., and 23 Nov. Woollen manufacture was carried on till the 16thcentury; spur-making followed, and was so famous as togive rise to the proverbial saying, " As true steel as Ripon rowels; " other kinds of hardware manufacture accompanied the spur-making, but all ceased about the middle of last century; saddle-tree-making began in the time of Elizabeth, and is still carried on; and there areiron and brass foundries, maltings, tanneries, varnish-manufactories, and corn mills.

The Borough.—Ripon is a borough by prescription; wasfirst chartered by James I.; is governed, under the newact, by a mayor, 4 aldermen, and 12 councillors; senttwo members to parliament once in the time of Edward I., and always from the time of Edward VI. till 1867; and, by the reform act of that year, was reduced to theright of sending only one. The borough boundaries, both municipal and parliamentary, include all Ripontownship and part of Aismunderby-with-Bondgate township. Corporation revenue, about £230. Real propertyin 1860, £20,031; of which £220 were in gas-works. Amount of property and income tax charged in 1863, £1, 716. Electors in 1833, 341; in 1863, 342. Pop. in 1851, 6,081; in 1861, 6, 172. Houses, 1, 382.

The Parish.—The township of R. comprises 1, 446acres. Pop. in 1851, 5, 553; in 1861, 5, 619. Houses, 1, 245. The parish contains also the townships of Aismunderby-with-Bondgate, Sharow, Copt-Hewick, Bridge-Hewick, Givendale, Whitcliffe-with-Thorpe, Bishop-Monckton, Markington-with-Wallerthwaite, Sutton-Grange, North Stainley-with-Sleningford, Clother-holme, Bishopton, Lindrick, Studley-Roger, Ald field, and Ingerthorpe, in Ripon sub-district; Sawley, Eave-stone, Skelden, Grantley, Winksley, Nunwick-with-Howgrave, Hutton-Conyers, and Newby-with-Mulwith, in other parts of Ripon district; High and Low Bishop-side, Bewerley, Dacre, and Bishop-Thornton in Pateley-Bridge district; and Skelton and Westwick, in Great Ouseburn district. Acres, 56, 471. Pop. in 1851, 15, 136; in 1861, 15, 165. Houses, 3, 287. The parish is cut ecclesiastically into the sections of Ripon-Trinity, Aldfield-with-Studley, Bishop-Monckton, Bishop-Thornton, Dacre, Greenhow-Hill, Markington, Pateley-Bridge, Sawley, Sharow, Skelton, North Stainley, and Winksley-with-Grantley. The livings are all p. curacies in the diocese of Ripon. Value of Trinity, £300.* Patrons, Simeon's Trustees. The other livings are noticed in thearticles on their several localities.

The District.—The sub-district of R. contains the townships already named as in it, together with the extra-parochial tract of Markingfield-Hall. Acres, 22, 251. Pop., 8, 979. Houses, 1, 974. The district comprehendsalso the sub-district of Kirkby-Malzeard, containing fivetownships of Ripon parish, and four of Kirkby-Malzeard; the sub-district of Wath, containing the parishes of Wath and West Tanfield, two townships of Kirklington parish, and two of Ripon, all, except Nunwick-with-Howgrave, electorally in N. R. Yorkshire; and the sub-district of Dishforth, containing five townships of Topcliffe parish, one of Cundall, and one of Ripon, all, except the last, electorally in N. R. Yorkshire. Acres of the district, 70, 590. Poor-rates in 1863, £7, 686. Pop. in 1851, 16,041; in 1861, 15, 742. Houses, 3, 481. Marriages in 1863, 123; births, 480, of which 31 wereillegitimate; deaths, 307, of which 87 were at ages under 5 years, and 18 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 1, 362; births, 5, 236; deaths, 3, 297. The places of worship, in 1851, were 29 of the Church of England, with 7, 691 sittings; 1 of Independents, with 420 s.; 3 of Baptists, with 705 s.; 28 of Wesleyans, with 3,005 s.; 3 of New Connexion Methodists, with 771 s.; 10 of Primitive Methodists, with 1,060s.; and 2 of Roman Catholics, with 364 s. The schools were 30 public day-schools, with 1,814 scholars; 33 private day-schools, with 743 s.; and 40 Sunday schools, with 2,060 s. The workhouse is in Allhallowgate, Ripon; was built in 1854; and, at the census of 1861, had 93 inmates.

The Liberty.—Ripon liberty excludes R. borough and several townships of R. parish; includes Nidd parish and Markingfield-Hall extra-parochial tract; comprises anarea of 35, 795 acres around R. city; forms a division of Claro wapentake; and was anciently called Riponshire. Pop. in 1851, 6, 482. Houses, 1, 320. This territory, from the time of Athelstan till the abolition of feudaljurisdictions, was under judicial authority of the Arch-bishop of York, in right of his manor; and it still hasits own high steward, justices of the peace, coroner, clerk of the peace, high constable, and jailor.

The Diocese.—The bishopric of R. was constituted in 1836; the Rev. Dr.T. Longley, then head-master of Harrow, was made the first bishop; and, on his translation to Durham in 1856, Dr. R. Bickersteth succeededhim. The cathedral establishment includes the bishop, the dean, four canons, eleven honorary canons, two arch-deacons, a chancellor, and two minor canons. The income of the bishop is £4, 500; of the dean, £1,000; ofeach of the canons, £500; of each of the archdeacons, £200; of the chancellor, £250; of each of the minor canons, £300. The diocese comprehends all parts of W. R. Yorkshire westward of the eastern boundaries of the parishes of Nun-Monkton, Kirk-Hammerton, Whixley, Hunsingore, Cowthorpe, Kirk-Deighton, Spofforth, Collingham, Bardsey, Barwick-in-Elmet, Garforth, Kippax, Methley, Wakefield, Sandal-Magna, Darton, Silkstone, and Penistone; and is divided into the archdeaconries of Craven and Richmond. Acres, 1, 567, 793. Pop. in 1861, 1103, 394. Houses, 231, 601. The archdeaconry of Craven comprises the deanery of Craven, in threedivisions, with 16, 19, and 15 livings; the d. of Birstall, with 15; the d. of Bradford, with 40; the d. of Dews-nury, with 18; the d. of Halifax, with 34; the d. of Huddersfield, with 39; the d. of Leeds, with 39; the d. of Otley, with 20; the d. of Silkstone, with 17; the d. of Wetherby, with 10; the d. of Whitkirk, with 12; and the d. of Wakefield, with 24. The archdeaconry of Richmond comprises the deaneries of Boroughbridge and Knaresborough, with 28 livings; the d. of East Catterick, with 19; thed. of West Catterick, with 20; the d. of Clapham, with1 4; the d. of East Richmond, with 17; the d. of West Richmond, with 19; the d. of North Richmond, with 8; and the d. of Ripon, with 22.


(John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72))

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a city, a township, a parish, a sub-district, a district, a liberty, and a diocese"   (ADL Feature Type: "cities")
Administrative units: Ripon Tn/AP/CP       Ripon SubD       Ripon PLU/RegD       Yorkshire AncC
Place names: RIPON     |     RIPONSHIRE
Place: Ripon

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