Ripon (/ˈrɪpən/) is a cathedral city in the Borough of Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England. The city is located at the confluence of two tributaries of the River Ure, the Laver and Skell. Historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, the city is noted for its main feature, Ripon Cathedral, which is architecturally significant, as well as the Ripon Racecourse and other features such as its market.
The city was originally known as Inhrypum. Bede records that Alhfrith, king of the Southern Northumbrian kingdom of Deira, gave land at Ripon to Eata of Hexham to build a monastery and the abbot transferred some of his monks there, including a young Saint Cuthbert who was guest-master at Ripon abbey. Both Bede in his Life of Cuthbert and Eddius Stephanus in his Life of Wilfred state that when Eata was subsequently driven out by Alhfrith, the abbey was given to Saint Wilfrid who replaced the timber church with a stone built church. This was during the time of the Anglian kingdom of Northumbria, a period during which it enjoyed prominence in religious importance in Great Britain. It was for a period under Viking control, and later suffered under the Normans. After a brief period of building projects under the Plantagenets, the city emerged with a prominent wool and cloth industry. Ripon became well known for its production of spurs during the 16th and 17th centuries, but would later remain largely unaffected by the Industrial Revolution.
Ripon is the third-smallest city in England and the smallest in Yorkshire, by population. According to the 2011 United Kingdom Census it had a population of 16,702, an increase on the 2001 United Kingdom Census figure of 15,922. It is located 11 miles (18 km) south-west of Thirsk, 16 miles (26 km) south of Northallerton and 12 miles (19 km) north of Harrogate. As well as its racecourse and cathedral, Ripon is a tourist destination because of its proximity to the UNESCO World Heritage Site which consists of the Studley Royal Park and Fountains Abbey.
If you are interested in joining this outing and wish to know more, click on the file name above. Instructions for reserving a coach seat are on the walksheet.
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