Cathedral ceremony puts heritage trail on the map

A HERITAGE trail encircling the city is well and truly on the map following a special ceremony in Ripon Cathedral on Saturday.

The Sanctuary Way is marked by a series of eight stone boundary ‘crosses’, although only one of the original crosses survives from the 10th century.

All the others have been re-created on key routes into the city by Ripon’s two Rotary Clubs as part of Rotary International’s centennial celebrations.

Each of the stones has been adopted by a local school, and pupils and staff from the schools carried wooden crosses through the cathedral on Saturday in a procession to the tune of ‘One More Step Along the Way We Go’ – a fitting choice of song.

It has taken the combined efforts of both clubs more than three years to complete the project of re-creating the ancient boundary markers which date back more than 1,000 years.

The short ceremony, which was attended by the Mayor and Mayoress, Coun John Stockdale and Mrs Gloria Sturdy, lasted around 30 minutes and included songs and prayers led by Canon Michael Glanville-Smith.

Rotarian John Richmond, who helped oversee the project, said: “The ceremony went exceptionally well and it was quite an occasion. More people turned up than we could have imagined.”

He hopes the Sanctuary Way walk will become a popular attraction for tourists. “There are some wonderful views of the cathedral from South Parks Farm, and the circular walk around each of the markers is quite fascinating,” he said

“We are very proud of the project and it has been hard to keep the enthusiasm going for such a long time. It was very time consuming, but also very worthwhile.”

The circular walk is 10 miles and takes approximately four hours, but shorter, scenic walks are also marked out in a special leaflet guide and on infoprmation display boards.

The leaflets can be obtained from the Tourist Information Centre, opposite the cathedral, which is the starting point for the walk.