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Chapel of the Hospital of St Mary Magdalene, Ripon

Description: Chapel of the Hospital of St Mary Magdalene

Grade: I
Date Listed: 27 May 1949
English Heritage Building ID: 330124

OS Grid Reference: SE3172671779
OS Grid Coordinates: 431726, 471779
Latitude/Longitude: 54.1409, -1.5159

Location: 29 Magdalen's Road, Ripon, North Yorkshire HG4 1HX

Locality: Ripon
Local Authority: Harrogate Borough Council
County: North Yorkshire
Country: England
Postcode: HG4 1HX

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Explore more of the area around Ripon, North Yorkshire at Explore Britain.

Listing Text

1/23 (east side)

Chapel of the Hospital
of St Mary Magdalene
[formerly listed as
Hospital of St Mary


Hospital founded by Archbishop Thurstan (Archbishop 1114-40), and the chapel must date
from shortly after the foundation. South doorway C12. Otherwise substantially C15.
Hammer-dressed limestone. Low-pitched roof with parapets; finial on east gable;
bellcote on west gable. Low side window on south site. Four-light Perpendicular east

Interior has very good furnishings, including C15 screen, mediaeval stone altar,
mediaeval tesselated pavement, and C17 communion rail with turned balusters.

History. The Hospital of St Mary Magdalene is slightly younger than that of St John,
but this chapel is the only complete fragment of any of Ripon's mediaeval hospitals to
survive from the time of its foundation. It had sisters and a priest, whose duties
were to feed and shelter lepers, maintain blind priests born in Ripon, and give alms
to the poor.

Subsequent Archbishops provided it with brothers also, and a master; and in 1295
Archbishop Romanus decided that the master had to be a resident prebendary of the
College. Subsequently the mastership was held by Abbot Marmaduke Bradley, the last
Abbot of Fountains, who ended his days as a prebendary of Ripon. In 1544-45 it was
re-organised as an Almshouse by Archbishop Lee; and when James I re-founded the
college in 1604 its mastership (together with that of St John) was annexed to the new
foundation as a perpetual gift. From the late C17 the masterships of the 2 hospitals
were amalgamated in the office of Dean of Ripon.

In this period, when the mastership was a sinecure, the Hospital had some notable
masters, including John Vramhall (later Archbishop of Armagh) (Master 1625-34), his
successor Dr John Williams (Cromwell's brother-in-law, Bishop of Chester, and
co-founder of the Royal Society), and in the C18, Heneage Dering, reputed to be the
richest cleric in England.

As a result of the Charity Commissioners' Report of 1820, the 2 hospitals' estates
were re-organised in 1864, enabling the premises to be rebuilt.

The Valor Ecclesiasticus (1535) reveals that the master (Marmaduke Bradley) had a
"mansion house", garden and orchard. The Charity Commissioners in 1820 describe
apartments for 6 sisters and a chapel across the street. There is no mention of the
hospital buildings in either case, but it is known that there had been a separate
leper house, demolished shortly before 1352 for lack of patients.

Listing NGR: SE3172871780

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.