Rare opportunity to discover part of Ripon Cathedral's history

Ripon Cathedral is hosting a rare opportunity to gain an insight into part of the landmark's history.
Ripon Cathedral is hosting a rare opportunity to gain an insight into part of the landmark's history.

Ripon Cathedral is offering a rare opportunity to discover an important part of the landmark’s history.

The Cathedral’s bone crypt building, located by one of the main thoroughfares through the churchyard, hosted thousands of human bones until 150 years ago - when it was cleared and eventually converted into a functioning chapel.

Now, after research undertaken by Joseph Priestley, a local Heritage Learning Officer, the chapel will once again return to its original function of storing bones for one day.

Joseph, along with researchers from the University of Sheffield’s Charnel Chapel Research Project, will be holding an open day with interactive activities for children and adults.

The day will run from 10am to 4pm on May 31, with workshop slots available from 11 to 1pm and 2 to 4pm.

Joseph Priestley said: “Everyone has heard of the catacombs in Rome and Paris yet, here in the UK, little is known of our charnel chapels and bone crypts. It is only now that researchers from the University of Sheffield are realising just how many there are in England and it appears that the example at Ripon Cathedral would have been really impressive.

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to explore the building as it would have been in the medieval period.”

Limited spaces are available for the workshops. To sign up, email joepriestley@riponcathedral.org.uk or ring the Cathedral Office on 01765 603462.

The Cathedral saw a surge in visitor numbers during the Tour de Yorkshire weekend - doubling its typical footfall on the Saturday with over 400 visitors recorded by lunch-time alone. Do you work for an attraction or business that was boosted by the Tour? Email: finola.fitzpatrick@jpress.co.uk to be included a Tour follow-up piece.