Ripon Civic Society

Ripon Civic Society:

‘Ripon Heroes and Villains’ was the title of an excellent talk by local historian, Maurice Taylor, last Thursday. It spanned the centuries from St Wilfred (634 - 709 AD) who built the first church, on the site of the present cathedral (the crypt of 692, still remains today). There are too many to mention in this report as Ripon has such a rich history - it is indeed a wonderful place to live.

One Bishop of Ripon, when Bishop of York, crowned young Henry ll before his father’s death! Ripon was a Royal Chartered Sanctuary Town and Robert Pool and John Whithorn assaulted Thomas Coke near Bishopton Cross and used the facility! In the Uprising of the North the Markenfields of Markenfield Hall and Richard Norton of Norton Conyers were caught and executed. One Ann Houghton was the last woman to be hanged on Gallows Hill in 1604 and the last hanging 1721.

Jordan Crosland, of Newby, served Charles l and Charles ll and was a “man of honour”. One William Marchel of High Skellgate murdered his two children. Lewis Carol, author of Alice in Wonderland, lived here and the famous poet of the First World War, Wilfrid Owen, had rooms here to write. More recently Bruce Oldfield, the famous dress designer lived here in a children’s home and attended the Grammar School.

Today there are many “Heroes and Villains” as Maurice Taylor’s new book, entitled An Illustrated History of Ripon, will tell you.

Our next meeting at Allhallowgate Methodist Church Hall on Thursday, February 9 will be by Mrs Lillian Mina on “The Kursall (Royal Hall, Harrogate ): It’s Care, History and Conservation”. All are welcome, visitors 2.50 .