Description: Ripon Minster (Cathedral Church of St Peter and Wilfrid)
Date Listed: 27 May 1949
English Heritage Building ID: 330149
OS Grid Reference: SE3144671129
OS Grid Coordinates: 431446, 471129
Latitude/Longitude: 54.1351, -1.5202
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SE 3171 RIPON MINSTER ROAD
1/1 (south side)
GV (Cathedral Church of St
Peter and Wilfrid)
(formerly listed as The
The earliest church was a Scottish monastery, re-organised by St Wilfrid along
Benedictine lines circa 660. Some time between 660 and the Archiepiscopate of Ealdred
(1060-69) it was re-founded as a College of secular canons, with 7 prebends (attached
to particular localities from 1301), and under the patronage of the Archbishop of
York. It was at the same time a parish church, which it remained after the College
was dissolved at the Dissolution of the Chantries in 1547. In 1604 the College was
re-founded by James I with a slightly different organisation (a Dean, a sub-Dean, and
non-territorial prebendaries). It was dissolved during the Commonwealth, but
re-founded again in 1660. In 1836 Ripon became a diocese consisting of the western
part of the Diocese of York and the Yorkshire part of the Diocese of Chester (itself
taken from the mediaeval Diocese of York in 1541). The College was replaced by a Dean
and Chapter, and the church became a cathedral, which it remains. The building
consists, in part, of St Wilfrid's monastery, and, in part, of restorations and
improvements undertaken for the C19 cathedral; but it is substantially the church of
Crypt Anglo-Saxon. Chapter House perhaps Norman, although the vaulting looks C13.
Remainder begun by Archbishop Roger of Pont l'Evegre (1154-81), and completed by
Archbishop Walter Gray (1215-55); except for eastern bays of choir, nave aisles, and
library. Although Archbishop Roger's work at York is late Norman, here it is in a
fully developed and sophisticated early Gothic style. Eastern bays of choir,
including sumptuous sedilia (in the Lincolnshire-Nottinghamshire-East Riding style of
circa 1320), probably early C14. Library also C14. South side of western bays of
choir altered in C15. Pulpitum also C15. Nave drastically altered and aisles added
in early C16; and the south transept east side clerestory also probably dates from
this time. The works in 1514 and again in 1520-1 were in the charge of Christopner
Scure, previously master mason at Durham. In 1615 the spire on the crossing tower
collapsed; in 1664 the spires on the 2 western towers were taken down. Restorations
in 1829-31 by Edward Blore, in 1843-4 by William Railton, and in 1862 by Sir Gilbert
Scott; the latter was the most drastic, consisting principally of removing the tracery
from the lancets of the west front, giving them their well-known but illusory effect
of being slightly earlier than they actually are, and this conforming to advanced
taste of the 1860s.
The outstanding furnishings are the choir stalls and misericords in the Nantwich-
Manchester-Lancaster style of the late C15; 2 dates, 1489 and 1494. Also an
outstanding pulpit of 1913 by Harry Wilson in an early Art Deco manner.
The outstanding monument is that to William Weddell (circa 1789) by Joseph Nollekens.
The other good ones are to Sir Thomas Markenfield (circa 1497); Hugh Ripley (the first
Mayor under the 1604 constitution) (circa 1637, but the monument was destroyed in the
Civil War, and replaced in 1730 by a replica carved by the French emigre Daniel
Harver of York); and Sir Edward Blackett (died 1718) by John Hancock (24 ft high).
Many other good though lesser monuments, including an unusual wall monument of plaster
to Mrs Ann Hutchinson (died 1730).
Many fine tomb slabs.
Listing NGR: SE3144671128
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.