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Church of St Wilfrid, Ripon

Description: Church of St Wilfrid

Grade: II*
Date Listed: 19 March 1984
English Heritage Building ID: 330034

OS Grid Reference: SE3107371544
OS Grid Coordinates: 431073, 471544
Latitude/Longitude: 54.1388, -1.5259

Location: 13-14 Coltsgate Hill, Ripon HG4 2AB

Locality: Ripon
Local Authority: Harrogate Borough Council
County: North Yorkshire
Country: England
Postcode: HG4 2AB

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Listing Text

In the entry for the following:-


1/221 (south side)

Church of St Wilfred


The Grade shall be amended to read II * (star) :-


(south side)
Church of St Wilfrid

Roman Catholic 1858-62. Architect: I A Hansom. Nave and aisles; west "transepts" with polygonal ends and hipped roofs; chancel raised very much higher than nave, with polygonal apse and hipped roofs; chancel chapels.

The source for this unusual and dramatic elevation of the chancel roof may be Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin's chapel at Alton Castle, Staffs (1847), and ultimately the C12 church of Les Saintes de la Mer, in Provence.

Interior. Nave has 4 bays and a west gallery. Choir has 3 shorter bays. Details earliest French Gothic, viz: arches pointed, ornament geometrical, capitals foliate but with some crockets. Elaborate arcaded reredos designed by Edward Welby Pugin, with sculpted scenes from the life of St Wilfrid in high relief. Bowl-shaped font on thick central column with 4 thinner ones, each of pink marble. Pulpit has simple balustrade of pink marble columns. Communion rail of brass and delicate wrought iron ornament.
The altar to Our Lady of Fountains in the middle of the south aisle used to be in the 1st Marquess of Ripon's private chapel at Studley Park, but was given to St Wilfrid's by the 2nd Marquess (a Protestant) when disposing of his father's things in 1909.

History. Throughout penal times the country around Ripon supported a small Catholic community, and mass was held regularly at Bishop Thornton in Nidderdale. Mary Ward, foundress of the IBVM and Bar Convent in York came from between Bishop Thornton and Pateley Bridge. The Catholic community was strengthened by immigrants from Ulster working at Mickley Flax Mill, and was patronised by the Vavasours of Hazlewood Castle.

In Ripon itself a warehouse in Heath's Court, Low Shellgate was used as a chapel
throughout the 1850s. In 1858 the priest, Father Robert Garstang bought the site of St Wilfrid's, his friend Mr Bradwell bidding for him to avoid anit-Catholic
prejudice. His successor, Father Philip Vavasours built the church, the school and the presbytery. The foundation stone was laid on 21 November 1860 by the Vicar - General of the Diocese of Beverley. It was opened on 23 April 1863. It had cost £5,000, but this may not have been completely paid by the time of the opening, as it was not consecrated until 1912. The Catholic community in Ripon gained considerably in prestige with the conversion of the 1st Marquess of Ripon in 1878.

Listing NGR: SE3107371544

This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.

Source: English Heritage

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.