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Title: Bell's Cathedrals: The Cathedral Church of Ripon - A Short History of the Church and a Description of Its Fabric
Author: Hallett, Cecil Walter Charles, 1868-
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Transcriber's note

      Obvious typographical errors have been corrected. A list of
      changes is found at the end of the book. Inconsistencies in
      spelling and hyphenation have been retained. A list of
      inconsistently spelled words is found at the end of the book.

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A Short History of the
Church & a Description
of Its Fabric


Magdalen Coll., Oxford

With 53 Illustrations



London George Bell & Sons 1901


The original authorities for the history (both constitutional and
architectural) of the Church of Ripon have been most ably edited for the
Surtees Society by the Rev. Canon J. T. Fowler, F.S.A., in his
_Memorials of Ripon_ and _The Ripon Chapter Acts_ (_Surtees Soc._, vols.
74, 78, 81, 64). These authorities range from the Saxon period to the
times following the Reformation, but in the Introductions to vol. 81,
and in the Rev. J. Ward's _Fasti Riponienses_, included in vol. 78, the
story is virtually continued to our own day; while the aforesaid
Introductions epitomise, in its constitutional and architectural
aspects, the whole history of the church.

To these volumes and to their Editor, who most kindly consented to
revise the proofs of this book, the present writer is very deeply
indebted. He has also had recourse to an article by Sir G. Gilbert
Scott, R.A., in vol. xxxi. of the _Archæological Journal_; to the same
Author's _Recollections_; to several articles on the Saxon Crypt, duly
specified on pp. 76, 77; to the Guides, by J. R. Walbran, F.S.A.,
published by Mr. Harrison of Ripon; to Mr. Murray's _Cathedrals_; to the
volume by the Ven. Archdeacon Danks in Messrs. Isbister's Cathedral
Series; to _A Day in the City of Ripon_, by Mr. George Parker of Ripon;
to the old Guides by Farrer and Gent respectively; and to other works of
a more general character.

His sincere thanks are also due to the Right Rev. the Bishop of Ripon
for permission to consult the library at the Palace; to the Very Rev.
the Dean for privileges granted in connection with the library in the
Cathedral and with the Cathedral itself; to the Ven. the Archdeacon of
Ripon and the Ven. the Archdeacon of Richmond for their courteous
assistance on several occasions; to Mr. J. T. Micklethwaite, V.P.S.A.,
Mr. W. H. St. John Hope, Mrs. Swire, the Rev. H. A. Wilson, Fellow of
Magdalen College, the Rev. G. W. Garrod, and Mr. John Whitham for
valuable information on various points, historical and architectural; to
Mr. Ronald P. Jones for his excellent photographs, to the Archæological
Institute and other learned Societies for various other illustrations,
and to the Rev. E. H. Swann, the Rev. J. Beanland, Capt. E. J. Warre
Slade, R.N., Mr. F. Forbes Glennie, Mr. T. Wall, Mr. Watson, and others
for similar assistance.

He desires also to express his thanks to Mr. E. W. Winser, Dean's
Verger, for much valuable local information; to Mr. Henry Williams,
Canons' Verger, for expert advice on points of masonry; and to both, as
well as to the Sexton, for that general assistance which they so
willingly rendered him throughout his investigation of the Fabric.


  CHAPTER I.--HISTORY OF THE CHURCH                                  3

  CHAPTER II.--THE EXTERIOR                                         39

  CHAPTER III.--THE INTERIOR                                        65

  CHAPTER IV.--OTHER OLD BUILDINGS IN RIPON                        133

    Abbots of the Monastery of Ripon                               142
    Canons of Stanwick                                             142
    Deans of King James I. Foundation                              143
    Deans of the Cathedral Foundation                              143
    Bishops of Ripon                                               143

  INDEX                                                            145


  Ripon Cathedral from the Footbridge over the Skel  _Frontispiece_
  Arms of the See                                      _Title Page_
  The Nave, South Side                                               2
  View from the South-West                                           3
  Early Apsidal Chapel with Later Chapel superimposed               13
  The West Front before Restoration                                 17
  Mediæval Seals (3)                                                20
  Ripon Minster Anterior to 1660 (from an old Engraving)            32
  The Cathedral from the South-East                                 38
  The West Doorways                                                 39
  View from the North-West                                          42
  Doorway, North Transept                                           47
  Doorway, South Transept                                           52
  Reconstructed Angle of the Great Tower                            57
  Flying Buttresses, South Side of Choir                            59
  The East End                                                      61
  The North-Western Portion of the Nave                             64
  Conjectural View of the Interior of Archbishop Roger's
    Nave (by Sir G. G. Scott)                                       65
  Conjectural Plan of Archbishop Roger's Church
    (by Sir G. G. Scott)                                            67
  The Nave, looking Westward                                        70
  Plan of Saxon Crypt                                               72
  The Saxon Crypt                                                   73
  Conjectural Plan of St. Wilfrid's Crypt and Presbytery
    (by Mr. J. T. Micklethwaite)                                    77
  The Two Fonts                                                     79
  Bas-Relief in the South Aisle of the Nave                         80
  The Western Arch of the Central Tower                             83
  The North Transept                                                87
  Vault of North Transept Aisle                                     91
  The Rood Screen                                                   95
  The Great East Window                                             97
  Bay of Archbishop Roger's Choir (by Sir G. G. Scott)              98
  Decorated Capital in the Choir                                    99
  The North Side of the Choir                                      100
  Bosses from the Choir-Vault (2)                                  103
  The Sedilia                                                      105
  Choir Stalls                                                     107
  Misereres                                                        108
  Desk-End of Mayor's Stall                                        109
  Finial in front of the Bishop's Throne                           110
  The West End of the Choir                                        112
  The North Choir Aisle                                            113
  Transitional Vaulting Corbel                                     114
  The Norman Crypt                                                 118
  The Chapter-House                                                122
  Ancient Sculptures in the Chapter-House                          124
  The Library                                                      130
  The Old Chapel, St. Mary Magdalene's Hospital                    132
  Chapel of St. Anne's Hospital                                    135
  Seal of St. Mary Magdalene's Hospital                            138

  PLAN OF THE CATHEDRAL                                        _at end_

  [Illustration: THE NAVE--SOUTH SIDE.
   (Showing junction of Transitional and Perpendicular work in the

  [Illustration: VIEW FROM THE SOUTH-WEST.]




There is evidence that the neighbourhood of Ripon was inhabited during,
and perhaps before, the Roman occupation of Britain. Whether the place
was a settlement of the Romans is uncertain; but it was assuredly in
touch with their civilization, for several of their roads passed near
it--notably Watling Street, on which, six miles to the east, was
Isurium, the modern Aldborough; while imperial coins and other Roman
objects have been dug up in Ripon itself. It is not known whether the
Romans imparted to the local tribes of the Brigantes their own
Christianity; but two centuries after the withdrawal of the legions the
greater part of what is now Yorkshire was absorbed by the invading
Angles into their kingdom of Deira, which had itself been united with
the more northern kingdom of Bernicia to form the single realm of
Northumbria. Deira, however, seems to have retained its own
individuality. About the year 627 King Eadwine of Northumbria was
converted to Christianity by Paulinus, and the majority of his Deiran
subjects followed his example.

=The Scottish Monastery.=--It is in the middle of the seventh century that
the recorded history of Ripon begins. Deira was then ruled by Prince
Alchfrith of Northumbria under his father, King Oswiu, nephew of
Eadwine, and Bede, writing not eighty years after the event, relates
that the prince chose Ripon for the site of a monastery. The date may be
fixed in or just before the year 657. This monastery was one of those
numerous religious colonies which were the result not only of the new
Christian fervour, but also of a reaction from war toward social life
and industry. It did not represent the Roman Christianity of Augustine
which Paulinus had introduced into Deira from Canterbury, but the
Christianity which had come from Ireland through St. Columba's
missionary college at Iona, and which was now predominant throughout the
north. The monks of Ripon were brought from Melrose Abbey on the Tweed.
Like most monks of that early period, they probably followed no definite
Rule. Their abbot was Eata, a pupil of St. Aidan, and previously Abbot
of Melrose and Lindisfarne, while the guest-master was no less a person
than Cuthbert, the legend of whose having entertained an angel unawares
at Ripon added, no doubt, to the growing reputation of the house.

Its tranquillity, however, was not to last. The Roman party in the
Northumbrian Church, though inconsiderable, was gaining force, and
Alchfrith, deserting his former convictions, gave the new monastery,
with an endowment of thirty or forty hides of land, as Bede relates, to
one who had visited Rome, and who regarded the Irish (or, as it was
called by that time, the Scottish) Church as schismatical.

The life of =St. Wilfrid of Ripon=--so full of adventure, misfortune, and
lasting achievement--can only be related here in so far as it bears upon
the story of this, his favourite monastery. It was in 661 that the
transference from Eata to Wilfrid took place, and at once the Scottish
monks, refusing to conform to Roman usages, left Ripon in a body. It is
probable that Wilfrid imposed upon their successors the Benedictine
Rule, which he had studied at Rome. The new Abbot was not yet in
priest's orders, but was presently ordained at Ripon by Agilbert, the
Frankish Bishop of Wessex. In 664 he took the action for which he is
especially remembered in English history. Appearing at the Synod of
Whitby, he prevailed upon King Oswiu to throw in his lot with the Roman
party, and was thus the means indirectly of preventing the isolation of
the England of that time from the Church and civilization of the
Continent. Almost immediately afterwards Abbot Wilfrid became Bishop of
Northumbria, and this tenure of the two offices by the same person was
perhaps the origin of the subsequent connection of Ripon with the
Archbishops of York.[1] Wilfrid insisted on going to be consecrated by
Agilbert, who was now Bishop of Paris, and so long did he remain abroad
that on his return in 666 he found another bishop, Chad (afterwards St.
Chad of Lichfield), in possession of the see. He therefore retired to
Ripon for three years, during which, however, he visited Mercia and also
Kent, where he met Aedde, or Eddius, who became his chaplain and

=The Saxon Monastery.=--In 669 Wilfrid was restored to his see by
Theodore, Archbishop of Canterbury, and soon afterwards began to build
at Ripon. The Scottish monastery, which was probably of wood, is thought
to have occupied a site between Priest Lane, Stonebridgegate,[2] and a
nameless road which connects them. Wilfrid now abandoned it, and erected
upon a new site a more imposing monastery of stone.[3] The practice of
building in stone seems to have become uncommon in Britain after the
departure of the Romans, and Wilfrid is thought to have employed foreign
workmen, perhaps Italians.[4] His church is described by Eddius,
himself now a Ripon monk, as "of smoothed stone from base to summit, and
supported on various columns and (?) arcades (_porticibus_)," and was
doubtless of that Italian type which had become identified in Britain
with the Roman party in the Church, as opposed to the Scottish mission.
The Scottish type of church consisted of a small aisle-less nave and
square chancel: the Italian type generally had aisles, and the altar was
usually raised upon a platform, beneath which was a crypt called
_confessio_. A little later than 670 A.D. Wilfrid's new minster was
solemnly dedicated by him in honour of St. Peter, in the presence of a
great concourse of clergy and nobles, headed by the King of Northumbria,
Ecgfrith, the successor of Oswiu. The endowments seem to have included
at this time certain lands round Ripon which had belonged to the British
Church before the coming of the Angles, and to have been now increased
by grants--some as far distant as Lancashire--made by the great men
present at the ceremony. Wilfrid himself gave a splendid copy of the
Gospels, written in gold upon purple vellum, the beginning perhaps of a
library.[5] The feasting was kept up for three days--indeed, no
monastery could have had for its church a more striking dedication. And
for the next seven years Ripon must have shared the importance of the
Abbot-Bishop, whose state rivalled that of the king. By persuading the
queen to become a nun, however, he presently lost the royal favour;
while the great size of the diocese, which extended at last from the
Forth to the Wash, prevented the achievement of complete success in his
episcopal work.

As yet the see of Canterbury was the sole archbishopric, and in 678
Archbishop Theodore--already known as an organizer of the
episcopate--was invited to the court of Northumbria. With Ecgfrith's
approval, but without consulting Wilfrid, he divided the diocese into
the three sees of Hexham, York, and Lindsey, answering respectively to
the tribal divisions Bernicia, Deira, and the land of the Lindiswaras
(Lincolnshire). Wise though this action was, it was naturally resented
by Wilfrid, who appealed to the Pope--the first appeal of the kind ever
made by an Englishman--and set out himself for Rome. He was destined not
to return till 680, and even then to be kept out of his bishopric till
686. Ripon was now in the new diocese of York, but in 681 Theodore
constituted yet another diocese, of which he made Ripon the cathedral

Of =Eadhead, First Bishop of Ripon= (681-686), little is known. Originally
a priest at the court of Oswiu, he had accompanied the intruded bishop,
Chad, when the latter sought consecration at Canterbury during Wilfrid's
absence for consecration in Gaul. Eadhead had afterwards been appointed
by Theodore to the see of Lindsey, and was translated thence to Ripon
when Lindsey was recovered by the Mercians.

His tenure of his new office lasted for five years only, for in 686
Aldfrith, the successor of Ecgfrith, restored Wilfrid--not indeed to his
original bishopric of Northumbria, but to a see which combined the
lately-formed dioceses of Ripon and York[6]. Eadhead accordingly
retired, and there were no more Bishops of Ripon for twelve centuries.

To Wilfrid was restored not only his bishopric, but also his monastery
of Ripon, which he retained in peace for the next five years. At the end
of that time a long dispute arose with Aldfrith, who was veering back to
the diocesan partition of Theodore, and Wilfrid, deprived of his see for
the third time, crossed over into Mercia. In 703 a synod was held at
Austerfield, the King and Berhtwald, Archbishop of Canterbury, being
present, when Wilfrid was actually asked to promise that he would cease
to act as bishop, that he would accept the partition of Theodore, and
that he would retire to Ripon and not leave the monastery without the
king's permission.

Though he was now a man of seventy, he set out once more for Rome, and
this time as before the Pope decided in his favour. Returning to Ripon
in 705, he attempted to conciliate Aldfrith's successor Eadwulf, but in
vain. In the same year, however, Eadwulf was succeeded by Osred, and
presently another synod was held, this time at Nidd, seven miles south
of Ripon, when it was decided, in the presence of Osred and the now
relenting Berhtwald, that Wilfrid should have the monastery and see of
Hexham (resigning York) and the monastery of Ripon, thus restored to him
for the second time.

In 709 he received a call to Mercia, which had already twice received
him in his adversity, and in which he had accepted the bishopric of
Leicester. Immediately before his departure he was at Ripon, where he
kept his treasure, and having a presentiment that he would never return,
he bequeathed a portion of his wealth to the monastery, appointed
Tatberht to succeed him as Abbot, and took an affecting farewell of the
whole community. Arriving at his monastery of Oundle, in
Northamptonshire, he was seized with illness, and died there on October
12 in the seventy-sixth year of his age. The body was placed on a car
and carried in solemn procession to Ripon, where it was buried on the
south side of the high altar in his own minster.

In 710 the anniversary of his death was kept at Ripon with great
solemnity, and out of such commemorations, probably, arose the feast of
his _Depositio_,[7] which was afterwards kept on every 12th of October.
According to Eddius a remarkable phenomenon occurred on this occasion.
In the evening the monastery was suddenly encircled with brilliant
light, as of day, and whether this was a display of Northern Lights or
not, it was regarded as a Divine testimony to the sanctity of Wilfrid.
The story shows, at any rate, that he was already beginning to be
regarded as a saint, and it was probably about this time that his name
was coupled with St. Peter's in the dedication of the Church. Miracles
were worked at his tomb, and it became an object of pilgrimage; but
little is known of the period immediately succeeding his death, save
that the dwellers around Ripon (as a twelfth century writer, Eadmer,
represents) first encouraged the cult of the saint, then became
disgusted at the crowds it drew, and finally endeavoured to check it
altogether. Wilfrid was succeeded in the abbacy by Tatberht, and history
has recorded the names of three more abbots who followed each other
toward the end of the eighth century, Botwine, Alberht, Sigred; and of
one of uncertain date, Uilden or Wildeng.[8] In 791 a noble named
Eardwulf, who had plotted against Ethelred, then King of Northumbria,
was put to death (as it was thought) at the monastery gate by the king's
orders. The monks carried him 'with Gregorian chantings' to the
precincts of the church, where they laid him out, but after midnight he
was found within the building--a recovery which was regarded as

Ripon did not escape the violence of the Danes. It is thought that about
the year 860 they burned the town and did some damage to the church, and
the remarkable mound known as =Ailcy Hill=,[9] near the Canons' Residence,
and due east of the Cathedral, is probably a relic of some battle of
this period. In the street-names too, all ending in 'gate' (which in the
sense of 'way' is a Danish word), another trace may perhaps be found of
their presence, as well as of the existence of a town at this early
period. The town probably grew up around the monastery. It has been
believed that a civic charter was granted by King Alfred in 886; but
this is impossible, even if such charters were ever granted at this
time, for Alfred had resigned all this part of England (which since
about 839 had owned the overlordship of Wessex) to the Danes in 878.

One of the great events in Ripon history is the visit of Alfred's
grandson =King Athelstan=. Yorkshire had lately been a separate Danish
kingdom, but it passed under the direct rule of Wessex in 926, and it
was either in that year that Athelstan came, or in 937, when he defeated
the Scots and other northern rebels at Brunanburh. It was to this king
that the church afterwards referred the grant of its most important
privileges. Among these was that of =sanctuary=, by which homicides,
thieves, debtors, etc., could flee to Ripon and live there under the
protection of St. Wilfrid for a specified time. The area within which
they were protected extended one mile from the church in every
direction, and the limit was marked by eight crosses, the base of one of
which is still to be seen on the Sharow Road. The penalties for
molesting refugees were afterwards graduated as follows:--between the
limit and the graveyard wall, £18; within the graveyard, £36; within the
choir (where the pursued sought the last possible refuge at the
'grythstool,' or chair of sanctuary), confiscation of goods and possible
death. Those who took sanctuary were called 'gyrthmen' or 'grythmen'
(from the Anglo-Saxon 'gryth' 'peace'), and undertook, among other
things, to carry the banners before the relics of St. Wilfrid in certain
processions. They were under the spiritual charge of a 'gryth-priest.'
The protection of the outer sanctuary can hardly have been extended to
Ripon men, as theoretically the whole town could then have committed
crimes with impunity, and practically the criminals would not have been
safe from their fellow-townsmen. Ripon debtors did indeed enjoy
protection here at Rogation-tide, but as a rule men of Ripon would seek
sanctuary at Durham or Beverley. Athelstan is also said to have granted
to the church a jurisdiction over its lands independent alike of the
northern archbishop and of the king, with the right to inflict the
ordeals of fire and water, and with exemption from taking oaths, from
taxation, and from military service.[10] Of the two charters in which
these grants are set forth, one is, indeed of the eleventh or twelfth,
and the other of the thirteenth century, but Athelstan may at any rate
have done something to give rise to the tradition, though it is
impossible to tell exactly what. The story of his having given the manor
to the see of York is doubtless misleading. The territorial sway of the
Archbishop at Ripon must be of earlier origin, and it may even have
arisen out of the grant of the monastery with its thirty or forty hides
of land to Wilfrid and his retention of them after his elevation to the
see of Northumbria.

The connection of the monastery with the Archbishop is illustrated in
the reign of Athelstan's brother Eadred, when Archbishop Wulfstan, by
aiding a rebellion for the purpose of again setting up a Danish king at
York, drew down the royal anger upon Ripon. In 948 (or 950, according to
one authority) Eadred harried Northumbria, and then, says the Worcester
Chronicle, "was that famed minster burned at Ripon, which St. Wilfrid
built." Wulfstan himself was deprived and imprisoned.

About two years later the half-ruined and deserted church was visited
(the see of York being vacant) by Oda, Archbishop of Canterbury. There
was a tradition in the sixteenth century that he rebuilt it, but his
visit is also memorable for another tradition, namely, that he
translated the bones of St. Wilfrid to Canterbury. Hence arose a fierce
dispute between Canterbury and Ripon, each claiming that it possessed
the body of the Saint. The claim of Canterbury, which is accepted to
this day by the Church of Rome, is supported by the assertion of Oda
himself, and by several subsequent chroniclers, one of whom, however,
attributes the translation to St. Dunstan, while another goes so far as
to concede that Oda left a portion of the bones behind. But Ripon always
maintained that it possessed the whole, and that the relics removed had
been those of Wilfrid II. (Archbishop of York, 718-732). According to
the contemporary biographer of Oswald (Archbishop of York, 972-992) the
bones of the Saint were at Ripon in the tenth century, and Oswald
solemnly enshrined them--whence that feast of St. Wilfrid's translation
which was afterwards kept on the 24th of April; and a later chronicler
speaks of "the body of the blessed Wilfrid" as being at Ripon in the
reign of Stephen. The claim of Canterbury was forgotten for a time in
the glories of St. Thomas à Becket, while that of Ripon became more or
less established in the north. In 1224 Archbishop de Gray, who
translated the alleged relics at Ripon to a more splendid shrine,
declared that he had found the skeleton complete. In the fifteenth
century Henry V. himself writes to Ripon of his reverence for "St.
Wilfrid, buried in the said church." In the sixteenth, Leland, while
recording a common opinion that Oda rebuilt the minster, makes no
mention of any removal of the relics. The controversy will perhaps never
be decided definitely, but it is interesting in view of the cult of St.
Wilfrid at Ripon in the middle ages.

The account of the enshrinement of the relics by Oswald has been thought
to imply that it was he who rebuilt the monastery, and that he filled it
again with monks. Whether it was rebuilt by Oda or Oswald, the body of
St. Cuthbert rested here in 995 on its way from Chester-le-Street to
Durham. From this point onwards, however, no more is heard of monks at
Ripon, and it may be interesting to recall here the part which this
monastery had played in the history of the Church. Its first abbot,
Eata, had become Bishop of Hexham and of Lindisfarne. It had been for a
time the home of St. Cuthbert. Under Wilfrid, Ceolfrith, one of its
monks, had become Abbot of Wearmouth, and another, Æthelwald, had
carried on Cuthbert's work in the Farne Islands. In accepting and
treasuring the staff of St. Columba, the Ripon of Wilfrid had forgotten
something of its hostility to the Scottish mission. Through Wilfrid,
Ripon had been connected with the founding of other monasteries, Hexham,
Selsey, Lichfield, Oundle. Through his labours, again, and those of St.
Willibrord, another of its monks, it had become known as a great centre
of missionary work. Wilfrid had strengthened Christianity in Mercia and
Kent, and may claim to have introduced it into Sussex and the Isle of
Wight. Abroad he had carried the Gospel to the Frisians, and his work
among them was splendidly completed by Willibrord, who became Archbishop
of Utrecht.[11]

=The College of Secular Canons.=--From 995 to the Conquest, the history of
Ripon is almost a blank. During that time the monastery, by a reversal
of the more usual process, became converted into a college of secular
canons, but nothing is known of the manner in which the change was
effected. The last Saxon Archbishop of York, Ealdred, who crowned both
Harold and the Conqueror, is said to have founded prebends--perhaps
giving lands out of his manor, and the Canons of Ripon duly appear in
Domesday Book (1085-6). In 1070 the Conqueror, to whom the north had
given much difficulty, ordered the Vale of York to be harried. Ripon
suffered severely, and in Domesday Book the surrounding lands are
recorded as "waste." The minster probably shared in the general wreck.

What happened to it in the succeeding period is not definitely known. It
may have been entirely rebuilt, as most great Saxon churches were after
the Conquest, or it may have been rebuilt partially, or merely enlarged.
That something was done is proved by the existence south of the choir
of some Norman work which has been attributed to the first Norman
Archbishop, Thomas of Bayeux (1070-1100), or to Archbishop Thurstan


The former died at Ripon. Indeed, the Archbishops had been in the habit
of residing here since the end of the tenth century, and they duly
appear in Domesday Book as lords of the manor, of which the canons' land
is apparently treated as a part. It is worthy of note that Domesday Book
records also the 'soc' jurisdiction and freedom from taxation which are
mentioned in the 'Athelstan' charters. The exemption also from the
king's officers which is set forth in the same charters, was proved in
1106, when an attempted invasion of the liberties of the Church by the
Sheriff of York was successfully resisted by Archbishop Gerard before
arbitrators appointed by Henry I. This king also exempted the lands of
Ripon from castle-building, and granted to the Canons and the Archbishop
a fair at the feast of St. Wilfrid's translation (April 24th). In the
next century fairs were also claimed for the feast of his _Depositio_
(October 12th), and for the feasts of St. Michael and of the Finding of
the Holy Cross.

=Archbishop Thomas II.= (1109-1114) founded the =Hospital of St. John the
Baptist=, and another Hospital, that =of St. Mary Magdalen=, of which the
chapel remains, was founded by his successor, =Archbishop Thurstan=
(1114-1141). Both these Hospitals were affiliated to the Church, and the
masterships were in the gift of the Archbishop. St. John's afforded
shelter to poor travellers who came in through the forest which then
adjoined the town. When the forest was cleared, the endowment provided
exhibitions for a few poor boys, who lived here while they pursued their
studies in "grammar" (perhaps at the Grammar School), with a view to
becoming clerks. The two hospitals, and a third which was founded later,
were placed at three of the principal entrances to the town, with the
express intention, perhaps, of assisting the pilgrims who resorted to
the shrine of St. Wilfrid.

Thurstan added one more canon to the staff by founding the prebend of
Sharow. He may also be called the founder of Fountains Abbey, which was
built on land assigned by him out of his domain of Ripon.

In the troubles of the reign of Stephen, Ripon took no small share. When
the Scots descended into Yorkshire, nominally to aid the Empress Maud,
Thurstan sent against them all the levies which an archbishop, as a
feudal baron, could muster, including doubtless the men of his manor of
Ripon, and the victory which they won near Northallerton in 1138 is
known as the Battle of the Standard, from the banners of the three
mother-churches--Ripon, York, and Beverley--which waved over the English
army. Ripon was soon to experience the anarchy which prevailed toward
the end of the war. In 1140 Alan, Earl of Richmond, entrenched himself
on a neighbouring hill and grievously oppressed the town and its
inhabitants. Led by him, the large landholders in the neighbourhood
broke open the storehouses and granaries of the archbishop, and in 1143
Earl Alan himself burst into the church with an armed band and attacked
Archbishop William Fitzherbert (afterwards St. William of York), who was
standing by St. Wilfrid's shrine. The Archbishop's offence may have been
that he was the king's nephew. At any rate he was detested by the
Cistercians, who were strongly represented here by Fountains Abbey, and
Ripon seems to have sided with them, for in 1148, when Archbishop
William was temporarily deprived of his office, it was to Ripon that his
supplanter, Archbishop Murdac, retired when he durst not enter York.
Stephen confirmed to the College all the privileges granted by his

=Building of the Present Church.=--The reign of Henry II. is marked by
another rebuilding of the church. William was succeeded in 1154 (the
year of the king's accession) by =Archbishop Roger de Pont l'Evêque=
(1154-1181). This prelate is known in politics for his opposition to
Thomas à Becket, and in art for his prominent share in the development
of our national architecture. There is perhaps no more important example
of the transition from the Norman to the Early English style than his
work at Ripon. With the exception of the crypt under the present
crossing, and of some Norman work south of the present choir, he rebuilt
the whole church, and history has recorded the wording of a deed in
which he gives "£1000 of the old coinage for the building of the
basilica ... which we have begun afresh."[12] Roger's church was a
cruciform building, and its nave had no aisles. A great portion of his
work remains--the two transepts, half of the central tower, and
portions of the nave and choir. The plan (see below, p. 67) was typical
of the early history of the place and of its subsequent conversion from
a monastery into a college of secular canons; for the aisleless
cruciform arrangement in churches was developed from a combination of
the Scottish type with the Roman or basilican, and the absence of aisles
was, or rather had been at a slightly earlier period, the recognized
mark of a secular as opposed to a monastic church. In giving aisles to
the choir Roger's plan was singular, for it was not usual for a choir to
have aisles when the nave had none. Except by the addition of
nave-aisles, the dimensions of his plan (as Walbran remarked) have not
been materially exceeded; and Ripon is an example of the size to which
churches of canons often attained, in spite of the fact that their plan
was generally that of a mere parish church.

The next archbishop, Geoffrey Plantagenet, was often in disagreement
with his brothers, Richard I. and John, but the manor of Ripon is said
to have been the only portion of his temporalities of which the latter
king did not deprive him.

After Geoffrey's death the see was vacant for nine years until 1216, the
year of the accession of Henry III., when it was given to =Archbishop
Walter de Gray= (1216-1255). In the same year 'spiritual fraternity' was
formally concluded between Ripon and Fountains; and a somewhat similar
arrangement was made a little later with Southwell, which since Henry I.
had shared with Ripon and Beverley the dignity of a mother-church or
pro-cathedral in the diocese of York. In 1224, at the request of the
Canons, Archbishop de Gray translated the relics of St. Wilfrid (if such
they were) to a new shrine, enshrining the head separately in such a way
that it was exposed to view. He also granted an indulgence of thirty
days to all who should make pilgrimage to the saint's new resting-place.
This second translation never became a feast, but it doubtless
stimulated the cult of St. Wilfrid afresh, and probably brought
considerable profit to the Church.

A few years later, at any rate, an important alteration was made in the
fabric, by the building of the present west front with its two flanking
towers, and the tall wooden and lead-covered spires which once crowned
the latter and the central tower were probably erected at this period.

In 1230, the Archbishop founded a seventh prebend--that of Stanwick;
and in 1241 sanctioned the addition of the parish of Nidd to the common
property of the College.

   (From an old print, by the kind permission of the Ripon Museum.)]

As yet, most of the prebends were distinguished by the names of the
Canons who held them, or of Saints; and it was not till 1301 that they
were named after the principal hamlet or township in each--Stanwick,
Monkton, Givendale, Sharow, Nunwick, Studley, Thorp. They were all in
the neighbourhood except Stanwick, which was in the North Riding, near
Richmond. The Church was (as it still is) parochial as well as
collegiate. Each prebend carried with it a cure of souls, yet all
(except Stanwick) were included in the huge parish of Ripon, which
extended to Pateley Bridge, and in 1300 had a radius of nine or ten
miles. Thus the collegiate establishment differed from the usual type in
which each prebend was a separate parish with a church of its own.
Moreover, there was neither Dean nor Chancellor. The Canons may at first
have lived in common, but as early as 1301, and probably earlier, they
were dwelling in separate prebendal houses round the Church. There is no
evidence that they ever resided on their prebends, except in the case of
the Canon of Sharow, whose residence was at that place. The canonries,
having been founded by Archbishops of York, were in the gift of the see,
or of the Crown when the see was vacant. The Canon of Stanwick was _ex
officio_ Ruler of the Choir, whence his obligation to reside in Ripon in
spite of the remoteness of his prebend, which was served by a vicar.
Similarly the Canon of Monkton was always Treasurer, and had charge of
the Chapter-house, the ornaments and plate, and the High Altar.

The revenues of the church may be divided as usual under three heads.
There was a Common Fund, arising from certain rents, tithes, fees, and
oblations; a survival perhaps of a time when the Canons lived in common.
Secondly, there were the revenues drawn by the Canons from their
respective prebends, and consisting partly of rents, but chiefly of
tithes. The prebend of Stanwick was worth about twice as much as any
other. Thirdly, there was the Fabric Fund, arising from certain rents,
oblations,[13] and licences, from the profits of St. Wilfrid's
burning-iron (with which cattle were branded to keep off murrain),[14]
and, in later days, of the pok-stone (which was probably regarded as in
some way a preventive against the 'pokkes' of sheep and cattle); but
especially from the farm of indulgences. When much building was in
progress the Canons' incomes were afterwards specially taxed, and once
or twice Peter's-pence were actually withheld from the Pope and devoted
to architectural purposes.

At the time of Archbishop de Gray, the old and somewhat vague
jurisdictions in and about Ripon had become more distinct. The parish
was a Peculiar,[15] and as such was exempt from the authority of the
Archdeacon of Richmond, either by tradition from the days when the
church was a monastery, or because of the presence here of the
Archbishops. Over this Peculiar (the laity included) the Chapter
exercised the spiritual jurisdiction of an archdeacon's court, assisted
by the Rural Dean of Ripon, who sat as 'Dean of Christianity.' This
'Court Christian' dealt with testamentary and matrimonial cases, cases
of defamation, immorality, neglect of religious duties, etc. Accused
persons cleared themselves by compurgation, or underwent penalties
(commutable, however), such as being beaten, walking barefoot in the
processions, suspension _ab ingressu ecclesiæ_, or excommunication.[16]
Lesser offences were dealt with by an archbishop's officer called
_penitentiarius_, who heard confessions and enjoined penances. The
Archbishop was Ordinary of the Peculiar. He held visitations in the
Chapter-house, and could order repairs of buildings, make statutes (in
consultation with the Chapter) for the College, and sequestrate its
revenues. He also exercised authority over offending Canons and over the
inferior clergy of the staff, though the correction of these belonged
primarily to the Chapter and especially to the Canon of Stanwick.

  [Illustration: MEDIÆVAL SEALS.
   1. Seal of the Mediæval Chapter.
   2. Capitular Seal "ad causas."
   3. Common Seal of the Vicars.]

For purposes of secular jurisdiction Ripon, with the lands round it, was
a Liberty, exempt, that is, from the authority of the Sheriff. The
Liberty was almost co-extensive with the Peculiar. Within it were two
secular jurisdictions, that of the Archbishop as lord of the manor, and
that of the Chapter, which embraced the southern half of the town and
many country districts, and which may have originated either with
Ealdred's presumable gifts of land out of the manor to form prebends, or
(as the charters pretend) from a grant of Athelstan, or perhaps from an
original independence enjoyed by the church as a monastery. The Chapter
claimed within their sphere the rights attributed to Athelstan's grant,
and also assize of bread, ale, weights and measures; dues of fairs and
markets; certain feudal dues; power over masterless goods, and to deal
with cases of rent, wrongful detention of land, and theft; _cognitio de
falso judicio_; execution of royal writs; 'sheriff-tourn'; coroners of
their own; in fact the powers of a sheriff and of the justices-in-eyre,
with a prison and the right of gaol-delivery, and even of inflicting
capital punishment. In cases of homicide, however, a king's justice must
sit as assessor. For civil suits there was a provision against 'wager of
battle,' and the accused again cleared themselves by compurgation.
Archbishop de Gray claimed similar privileges, but wished to exercise
them over the whole Liberty, on the ground that the church and its
appurtenances were part of his manor (as indeed they very possibly were,
originally). Unlike Archbishop Gerard, who had supported the church's
privilege against the sheriff, de Gray actually joined the sheriff in
invading it. In 1228 the case came before the king's justices in the
Chapter-house at Ripon, and the decision was for the Chapter. Thus the
division of jurisdictions received from the State an undoubted sanction.
Within his sphere the Archbishop appointed his own justices, but on
arriving at the limits of that sphere, the king's justices sat with them
there on the first day, and were afterwards admitted to sit with them in
the town. The Archbishops claimed also that their commissioners should
administer the oath of obedience at the mile-limit to those who sought
sanctuary. The Archbishops are also said to have had a 'military court,'
probably a feudal institution.

The memory of de Gray was perhaps held in scant respect at Ripon. He is
accused by Matthew Paris of having refused to distribute his corn during
a famine, and it was through the erection of Bishopthorpe Palace by him
that Ripon ceased to be a favourite provincial residence of the
Archbishops. Nevertheless they still frequently visited the town, both
for sport and duty. They had a park "six miles in compass," and the
fishing in the Ure. The existence, moreover, of a prison here for
criminous clerks made the minster a convenient place for the public
degradations which the Archbishop was obliged to hold from time to time.
On these occasions the offending clerks were brought across to the
church, where the Archbishop in full pontificals would hear their avowal
of guilt in the nave, and then solemnly divest them of their robes and
of their office at the west door.

In 1270 came the first echo from the outside world since the reign of
Stephen. Prince Edward was setting out on a crusade, and Archbishop
Giffard was compelled to exact from the Chapter a twentieth of their
temporalities. The town had now attained to some importance, and sent
two members to the Model Parliament of 1295.

As yet the minster of Archbishop Roger had suffered no change in its
main fabric save the rebuilding of the west front, but an alteration was
now to be made at the other extremity also, and the eastern portion of
the choir was rebuilt with all the elaboration of the Decorated style.
Of this work the greater part was probably effected under =Archbishop
John Romanus= (1286-1296).

In 1293 the almost cathedral rank of the church was marked by the
consecration within its walls of a bishop (of Galloway). It was, as has
been said, the parish church of the huge parish of Ripon. Yet the town
itself possessed at an early period a separate parish church of
Allhallows, a memory of which survives in 'Allhallowgate.'[17] There was
also an old chapel of the Virgin called the 'Lady-kirk,' in
'Stammergate,' and there were chapels at the two hospitals and the
palace. But there were at first few if any places of worship in the
surrounding country, and the most remote of the parishioners had been
obliged to repair Ripon. This state of things led to the erection of
district chapels by the larger landholders under the sanction of the
Chapter, as early as the twelfth century, and of these chapels there
were eventually at least sixteen.

The parishioners, however, still assembled at Ripon on certain feasts,
notably Christmas, Good Friday, Easter, Ascension, Whitsuntide, and the
feasts of St. Wilfrid's death (October 12th) and translation (April
24th), to which was added later a feast of his nativity, observed on the
Sunday after Lammas Day, and in the parish of Ripon only.[18] On St.
Wilfrid's feasts the privilege of sanctuary was extended beyond the
mile-limit to all who visited the mother-church, and the penalty for
molestation without the limit was £6. On Easter Day all the parishioners
received the Communion in the minster,[19] and on that day, on Christmas
Day, and on the feast of St. Wilfrid's nativity, the district chaplains
attended in their copes. Very picturesque, too, must have been the
miracle-plays at Easter, Christmas, and Epiphany; the great fairs; the
solemn processions, especially at Rogation-tide, when the relics of the
Saint were borne in state by representatives of the greater tenants of
the church, and attended by the sanctuary-men carrying staves with
banners. It is probable that once a year (perhaps at Whitsuntide) the
church was visited by clergy and laity from the whole of that division
of the diocese to which Ripon was the mother-church. Such annual
visitations were the especial privilege of mother-churches, and were a
great source of profit.

Underneath all this pageantry, however, there was much that was
unsatisfactory in the internal affairs of the college. In the thirteenth
century even more than afterwards, the great difficulty in the working
of secular colleges was non-residence. The Canons were often pluralists,
or foreigners appointed under pressure from the Pope or the king, who
provided in this way for prominent civil servants. A canon would often
leave his prebend in the spiritual charge of a vicar engaged by the
year, or under the administration of a proctor, or would even farm it
out--sometimes to a layman. Sometimes a canon was suspected of being a
layman himself, or a married man. The proctors or lessees dismissed or
appointed vicars at their pleasure. The prebendal houses fell into
disrepair, and in some cases a plot had been assigned, but no house had
been built. Some canons at this period resigned their stalls after an
extremely short tenure, or changed from one stall to another.

=Archbishop Thomas de Corbridge= (1299-1303) addressed himself to the
reform of these evils. He ordered the Canons to look to their prebendal
houses. He tried to control their acceptance of benefices in plurality.
He forbade them to farm their prebends to any but brother-canons except
with his licence. It was he who gave the prebends their territorial
names. Most important of all, he decreed in 1303 that the cure of souls
in each prebend was to be entrusted to a vicar-perpetual. The collegiate
system was indeed breaking down, and the Vicars henceforth were almost
as important a body as the Canons, whom they relieved of all
responsibility for the parochial work and the performance of the
services. Except the Vicar of Stanwick, they all lived at Ripon, and in
1304 one Nicholas de Bondgate provided them with a common residence,
which became known as the Bedern[20] (whence 'Bedern Bank'). The office
of _penitentiarius_ or of rural dean was often held by one of them.
Besides the seven Canons and the six Vicars in Ripon, there were three
deacons, three sub-deacons, six thuriblers, and six choristers, and the
full officiating staff thus amounted to thirty-one, exclusive of the
chantry priests, of whom, however, there were as yet but few.

The successor of Archbishop de Corbridge was an ex-Canon of Ripon,
=William Greenfield= (=Archbishop= 1304-1315). He rebuilt the chapel of the
Palace and founded a chantry in it. It was at Ripon that he put forth,
with additions of his own, certain rules against clerical abuses which
he had borrowed from the diocese of Chichester. He found indeed much to
reform. Already the vicariate was becoming demoralized. Vicars and
inferior clergy were addicted to shows and sports, to dances and
stage-plays. A chaplain invented a gambling game called "ding-thrifts."
What wonder that the laity, then, begged at the altars under pretence of
being proctors of absent canons, or intruded into the choir during
service--a privilege reserved for the great? And another privilege of
rank had been invaded also, for the Archbishop had to direct that only
great persons and benefactors were to be buried within the minster. In
1310 two women fought in the graveyard so savagely that it had to be
reconsecrated. In his last year the Archbishop had to restrain the
proctors of absent canons from acting independently in the
administration of the prebends, and from exercising capitular authority.

These internal difficulties, however, were presently forgotten in a new
danger from without. Already, in 1298, Archbishop de Newark had called
upon the Chapter to assist in providing cavalry for Edward I.'s campaign
against John Balliol, King of Scots. The King himself is said to have
visited the town in 1300. In 1315 the Chapter had sent a representative
to a council held by Archbishop Greenfield at Doncaster to consider the
defence of the realm. Since Bannockburn the Scots had been raiding the
northern counties, and in 1316 Edward II. ordered Ripon to provide
maintenance for Aymer de Valence, Earl of Pembroke, who was to pass
through on his way to check the raids. In March 1318 the town sent a
contingent to the King's forces, and the money, together with a banner
of St. Wilfrid, was provided by =Archbishop William de Melton=
(1317-1340). In May of the same year the Scots descended upon Ripon
itself. They might have spared the place, for in 1297 it had been the
temporary home of the mother of Robert Bruce, now King of Scotland, but
no consideration was shown. As there were no town walls, the inhabitants
fled to the minster and fortified it. For three days their homes were
given over to plunder, and the enemy demanded one thousand marks as the
price of a promise not to burn the town altogether. Even the Archbishop
urged the townsmen to pay this blackmail lest further damage should be
done, but such a sum could not be raised in a moment, and during either
this or a subsequent visit the Scots did much damage to the church. The
prebends suffered to the extent of over 150 marks, and the hospitals
were much crippled. Nor was any satisfaction to be had, save by solemnly
excommunicating the enemy on Sundays and festivals. It was probably in
consequence of the havoc wrought that in 1322 Parliament, which had been
summoned to meet at Ripon, met at York instead.

Thrice again after 1318 were forces levied in the Liberty against the
Scots--in 1327, in 1333, and in 1342, when Edward III. even offered
pardon to the sanctuary-men if they would serve.

Meanwhile Archbishop de Melton had been promoting the repair of the
minster, a task which included probably the renewal of the spires, the
roof, the stained glass, and the woodwork. In 1331-2 he issued some
important statutes for the College. Hitherto each Canon (except the
Canon of Stanwick) had received an annual dividend out of the Common
Fund. Of this fund, a large portion which had always gone to furnish
these dividends (or a part of them) was now appropriated exclusively to
canons willing to reside. Thus a premium was put upon residence, which
was fixed at twelve weeks in the year (not necessarily continuous), and
a distinction was admitted between resident and non-resident canons.
Again, the Common Fund was now to be charged with the salaries of the
Vicars, who had hitherto been precariously paid by the Canons their

=Archbishop John de Thoresby= (1352-1373) added to the prebend of Studley
the two districts of Dacre and Bewerley, and it was probably about this
time that the Lady-chapel (now the Library) was built. In 1375 some part
of the church was burnt, and in 1396-7 the central spire seems to have
been rebuilt. The town had now recovered its prosperity, for in 1405 it
became the residence of the Court, when King Henry IV. was driven from
Westminster by a plague. The next reign is marked by an improvement in
the status of the Vicars. They had been living dispersed over the
town,--indeed, their common residence or Bedern is said to have been
destroyed by the Scots.

In 1415, therefore, =Archbishop Henry Bowet= (1407-1423), having obtained
from Henry V. a charter with a dispensation of the Statute of Mortmain,
gave a site out of his manor for a new Bedern; and the vicars
themselves, who at this period are commended by both the Archbishop and
the King, were at the same time formed into a corporate body having a
common seal, and were allowed to elect from their number a Provost.
Under this Archbishop there were several instances of canons exchanging
their stalls for other benefices. The discipline of the staff seems to
have become exceedingly lax by 1439. The church music was neglected.
The Mass of Our Lady was not said regularly in the Lady-chapel. The
inferior clergy did not study for their examinations, and wore daggers
in the Choir. They and the vicars frequented taverns, walked about the
nave during service, and absented themselves without leave. The Canons
did not attend church in their habits, and the clergy generally indulged
in field sports.

=Archbishop John Kemp= (1426-1452) did what he could to reform these
abuses, and effected some improvement (the nature of which is not clear)
in the status of the Vicars, who had been badly treated by the Chapter
in financial matters. Later in this century a chantry chaplain is found
engaging in dishonest trade; priests fight; laymen assault one another
in the minster during service. But mediæval morality in general must not
be condemned, of course, for a few recorded crimes.

About 1450 the south-east corner of the central tower gave way, and so
unsafe was the church that service had to be held in the Lady-kirk. In
consequence of this disaster the Canons were obliged to rebuild not only
the south and east sides of the tower, but also the east side of the
south transept, and eventually part of the south side of the Choir; and
it is evident that they would have rebuilt the two remaining sides of
the tower, had they not been prevented by the Dissolution. The present
rood screen and canopied stalls were put in toward the close of the
fifteenth century. In 1502 the Lady-kirk (in which a chantry had been
founded in 1392) was handed over by the Chapter to Archbishop Savage,
who in turn transferred it to Fountains Abbey. Abbot Huby, intending to
make it a colony of Cistercians, rebuilt the east end of it, and
enclosed part of its graveyard with a fine stone wall having a
strongly-marked base. Of this wall a great part remains in St.
Mary-gate. A large doorway in it has been built up. The Lady-kirk itself
has vanished long ago.

At this time was begun the greatest architectural enterprise that had
been undertaken at Ripon since the twelfth century, namely, the
rebuilding of the nave of the minster. The Transitional nave, it was
said, had become ruinous through age and storms, but the real motive for
its destruction was probably an ambition to enlarge the building. The
enlargement of aisleless churches was usually begun by the addition of a
single aisle, and that on the north side (since the south was usually
the side of the graveyard); but at Ripon the south aisle was built
first, perhaps because it was always intended that there should be two
aisles--an arrangement which there were no cloisters here to prevent.
The work was begun in 1502 or 1503. Delayed by a plague in 1506, it was
almost complete, as Leland's _Itinerary_ shows,[21] when he visited the
town about 1538, but the aisles had not yet been vaulted when the
Dissolution came, and had wooden roofs until our own time. Irreparable
as is the loss of Archbishop Roger's nave, its successor must surely be
placed among the great naves of the Perpendicular period--and it is the
latest of them. The work was furthered by =Archbishop Savage= (1501-1507)
and by =Cardinal Archbishop Bainbridge= (1508-1514), and two canons must
especially be mentioned in connection with it, Andrew Newman, appointed
Master of the Fabric in 1502, and =Marmaduke Bradley=, who was paymaster,
and who was connected with the repairs after the failure of the central
tower, and gave up to the fabric a large portion of his fees for
residence. The last work done before the Reformation was probably the
rebuilding of the three westernmost bays on the south side of the choir,
which had been weakened doubtless by the accident to the central tower.

By this time the church contained nine chantries, namely, those of St.
Andrew (founded 1234); of the Holy Trinity _supra summum altare_ (1345);
of St. John the Evangelist and St. John the Baptist (1364); of St. James
(1407-8); of Our Lady 'in the Church' (1408); of St. Thomas of
Canterbury (1418); of the Holy Trinity _subtus altare_ (1466); of Our
Lady 'in the Lady-loft'; and of St. Wilfrid (? 1420). In some of these,
other chantries had been merged. There were also four or five chantries
in various chapels in the parish. The chantry-chaplains were not
strictly on the staff, but helped on Sundays and festivals. As their
chantries did not give them sufficient occupation, they sometimes held
in addition such offices as that of Proctor of an absent canon, Curator
of the Fabric, Sub-Precentor, Sub-Treasurer, or Chamberlain, the holder
of this post being the chief financial officer of the community.

On the eve of the Reformation the discipline of the staff was again very
unsatisfactory, chiefly through the influence of the Treasurer, Canon
Christopher Dragley, who employed the vestry clerks on his private
business, disposed of chantries prematurely, and encouraged the Vicars,
who were now living dispersed, to be insubordinate. It was the custom
for choir and clergy to adjourn after Prime to the Chapter-house, where
the martyrology for the day was read and notices were given out. Here,
too, once a week sat the Chapter Court. But Dragley was able to hinder
all this by keeping the door locked. From 1533 to 1539 he was Treasurer,
Canon Residentiary, and President of the Chapter, and the general laxity
was largely due to this concentration of authority in the hands of one
bad man through non-residence. The case of Dragley drew several decrees
from =Archbishop Edward Lee= (1531-1544):--that no vicar should be
appointed without the consent of a majority in Chapter; that the Chapter
seal must be kept by three people; that one canon must no longer form a
quorum (as hitherto) in the Chapter Court, and as a question had arisen
whether the powers of the Chapter were not entirely vested in the
canons-resident,[22] it was laid down that the latter were indeed
competent to dispose of certain chantries and other offices, and to
exercise the Chapter's spiritual jurisdiction, but that in most other
matters the whole body must be consulted. As most of them were always
absent, this means, perhaps, that they were represented in Chapter by
their proctors. There is an instance in 1546 of the Vicars, chantry
priests, and deacons being allowed to take part in a Chapter meeting.

An attack on relics was begun in 1538, and it was probably about this
date that the shrine of St. Wilfrid was destroyed. In 1539 came the
suppression of Fountains Abbey, the abbot who surrendered it being no
other than Marmaduke Bradley. He had been Abbot since 1536, holding his
canonry at Ripon at the same time, and after the suppression of the
Abbey, he became once more a power at Ripon. As sole residentiary in
1544, 1545, and 1546, he appears to have used his influence well, and
played a prominent part in the last architectural operations before the
Dissolution. The old system of sanctuary, suited only to times when the
State was weak, seems to have died out about this period. In 1545 came
an Act for the dissolution of chantries and hospitals. As 'Supreme Head
of the Church' Henry VIII. renewed the visitatorial authority of the
Archbishops, and both he and Edward VI. confirmed the ecclesiastical
jurisdiction of the Chapter. But the end was imminent. In 1547 the
College was dissolved,[23] and its revenues were annexed to the Duchy of
Lancaster. There had been attached to the church for centuries a =Grammar
School=, for which the Chapter had claimed a monopoly of education within
the Parish and Liberty, forbidding in 1468 the establishment of any
other school without their special licence. This ancient seminary was
apparently dissolved, and a new grammar school independent of the church
was founded by Edward VI., whose benefaction was completed by Mary, the
endowment being provided from the revenues of four of the late
chantries. There had also been a Song-school, but it was perhaps merely
a room in which boys of the Grammar School were trained to be
choristers. Out of the confiscated revenues one or more clergy were paid
to minister to the parish, but under Mary the old state of things was in
some measure brought back. There was once more a Chamberlain, whose
accounts show much the same items as do those of his mediæval
predecessors, and the old religion was restored; indeed, there were six
altars in the church.

Under Elizabeth there was a return to the arrangement of Edward, the
clergy (now as many as five in number) being denominated vicars.
Archbishop Sandys (1577-1588), Lord Burleigh, Richard Hooker, Moses
Fowler (afterwards the first Dean), and others tried to bring about the
establishment of a theological college in the Bedern, and an increase of
the endowments of the church, but in vain. The town must have lost all
favour in 1569, by taking part in the Rising in the North. It was
visited by the rebel earls of Northumberland and Westmorland, many of
the townsmen and local gentry joining them, and for the last time the
minster witnessed the celebration of the Mass. On the collapse of the
rebellion, a number of those who had taken up arms were hanged at Ripon
in sight of their homes, and the church suffered much damage from the
Queen's soldiery, who stripped the lead from the roof. Like the
Pilgrimage of Grace in 1536, this Rising was a protest against the
Reformation, and the records of Archbishop Young (1561-1568), and of the
Court of High Commission (1580), show that the people of Ripon still
clung to the old religion. The pillage of Henry and Edward had no doubt
destroyed most of the ornaments of the church, but some still remained
or had been renewed under Mary, and the clergy displayed a marked
reluctance in removing them; 'Images,' even when removed, were concealed
in private houses. One vicar named Thomas Blackburne had continued the
old practice of holding churchings in the Lady-chapel, and was ordered
publicly to renounce this error, as well as that of having left "that
olde, abhominable, and supersticious vawte called the Wilfride's
nedle[24] and the alter therein" undefaced. One townsman is punished for
having taken part in the Mass during the late Rising. The clergy
generally were unclerical in dress and lax in their performance of the
reformed services, which the parishioners showed a corresponding
unwillingness to attend, while the old fasts and festivals were not
wholly given up.

[Illustration: RIPON MINSTER ANTERIOR TO 1660.

_Note_.--This representation much resembles that engraved on the old
communion plate. As a view of Ripon Minster, it affords an instance of
the inaccuracy of old architectural drawings; but it shows, at any rate,
the effect of the spires.]

=The Chapter revived.=--On the accession of =James I.= a second futile
attempt was made to obtain for Ripon a theological college.[25] The
influence, however, of the queen, =Anne of Denmark=, gained from the king
a greater boon, and in 1604 he re-established the Chapter. Under the new
constitution there were six prebendaries, and for the first time a Dean.
Much of the old endowments was restored, but the new stalls could not be
identified with the old territorial prebends, and were therefore
distinguished as 'the first stall,' 'the second stall,' and so on. After
1607 the Prebendaries were empowered to elect a Sub-Dean. The cure of
souls was discharged by two vicars, and the choir was composed of six
lay-clerks and six choristers. The parish remained a Peculiar. The
spiritual jurisdiction of the Chapter and the Archbishop had been
somewhat restricted by the Reformation, and the secular jurisdiction of
the Liberty--especially in criminal cases--had been partly transferred
to the king's itinerant justices. The Archbishop, however, still
retained some criminal jurisdiction and also his 'Court Military,'
which, strange to say, came to hear civil cases. During the latter half
of the fifteenth century the secular cases heard by the Chapter had been
chiefly cases of debt, and under the new constitution they were
authorized to hold a court, which was called the Canon Fee Court, for
cases of debt and other civil cases. Some obscurity exists as to the
mediæval relation of the Archbishop to the town. There was, of course, a
town council, and its president the Wakeman[26] (an official peculiar to
Ripon) had charge of what would now be called the town police. The
ancient town bridges (of which only one remains) were under the charge
of the Archbishop. During the sixteenth century the borough constitution
had been the subject of disputes, in which Cardinal Wolsey had been
concerned in 1517 and Archbishop Hutton in 1598. James I. therefore now
granted a new Charter, under which the Wakeman became a Mayor; and
henceforth the borough had also an independent court of its own. The
dissolution of the Chapter in 1547, coming as it did upon the decay of
the manufacture of woollen cloth, had been a great blow to the
prosperity of the inhabitants,[27] and it was no wonder that when James
visited the town in 1617 he received an ovation.

In 1625 a plague, such as had not occurred here since 1546, prevented
the country folk from approaching the minster, and obliged them to have
their children baptized in the fields. Several changes in the
surroundings of the church took place at this time. The Bedern, with its
quadrangle, hall, and chapel, had been demolished by 1625, in which year
the Deanery was erected, perhaps upon its site. Of the old prebendal
houses some had been sold, or let; others, perhaps, were occupied by the
Prebendaries of the new foundation. In 1629 the ancient Palace, which
stood to the north of the minster and west of the Deanery, was turned
into a poor-house. The town (and doubtless the minster) was visited in
1633 by Charles I. on his way to his coronation at Edinburgh.[28] A few
years later he was to pass through again, a captive on his way to Holmby

Ripon had escaped the Wars of the Roses, but it was not unscathed by the
Great Rebellion, for in 1643 it was occupied by Sir Thomas Mauleverer, a
Parliamentary officer, whose soldiery broke into the minster and
shattered the magnificent glass in the great east window, and doubtless
much other glass besides. At the end of the war the manorial rights were
sold to Lord Fairfax, and the Chapter was again dissolved, "one who
called himself Dr. Richardson" being "appointed to preach in the minster
by the Parliament, tho' in all probability he was never in any Orders,
Presbyterian or Episcopal."[29] The Chapter was revived at the
Restoration, but all its members were new save one.

In the same year (1660) the central spire, which had been injured by
lightning in 1593, fell through the roof, wrecking many of the beautiful
canopies of the stalls. The damage to the choir and other parts of the
church, estimated at £6000, was repaired with money raised under a brief
from Charles II., but the spire was never rebuilt, and in 1664, to avoid
any further catastrophe, the western spires, though sound, were
deliberately removed.[30] The place of the spires was ill supplied by
the erection of battlements and pinnacles, which were renewed in 1797.

It was perhaps at this period that the west gate of the precincts was
pulled down--a mediæval structure which contained at least seven rooms,
and which stood at the bottom of Kirkgate. The graveyard in the middle
ages contained a cross, at which a service was held on Palm Sunday;
also, possibly, a mortuary chapel and a well associated with St.
Wilfrid--(not, of course, the St. Wilfrid's well which now fills the
public baths). Of these things there is now not a trace, save, perhaps,
the stump of the cross, near the south wall of the nave. Nor are there
any undoubted remains of the mediæval wall which enclosed the precincts,
except the fragment with an archway in it, which still forms the
southern entrance. The mediæval prisons, which belonged respectively to
the Archbishop and the Chapter, have long vanished, as has also that
which appertained to the Court of Canon Fee, but there is a Liberty
prison of some age in 'Stammergate.' Most of the archiepiscopal palace
had disappeared by 1830, but there was still a portion which was used as
the court-house of the Liberty. In that year this was pulled down, and
the present court-house was built upon the site. A memory of the Palace
survives in 'Hall Yard,' and there still remains what is, perhaps, a
remnant of the actual fabric, in the shape of an old cottage with an
external staircase, which stands behind the wall to the west of the
public garden that fronts the north side of the church. In the
above-mentioned wall is an Early English doorway, with a dripstone
adorned with the nailhead moulding. The door has a flat-arched wooden
frame, the spandrels of which are carved with _fleurs-de-lys_, while the
wooden tympanum above has Perpendicular panelling. This doorway is not,
perhaps, a relic of the Palace. It is not in its original position, and
indeed is said to have come originally from St. Mary Magdalene's
Hospital. Several of the old houses adjoining the Cathedral on the south
side, and along St. Agnes-gate, may possibly have been inhabited by the
Prebendaries of the Second Collegiate foundation, but the stone-roofed
house adjoining Bondgate Green Bridge is the only one in Ripon which can
be identified with a mediæval prebend--that of Thorp, and even here the
existing fabric can scarcely be pre-Reformation. St. John's
Hospital,[31] whose inmates for several centuries have been women, was
unfortunately rebuilt in 1869, but the modern chapel (served by one of
the cathedral clergy) retains a bell of 1663. The old Grammar
School,[32] which stood at the foot of the steps from St. Agnes-gate to
the Minster, has been pulled down since 1872.

Meanwhile the Minster itself had been undergoing restoration--in 1829
and the following years at the hands of Blore, when upwards of £3000
were spent, and from 1862 to 1870 at the hands of Sir G. Gilbert Scott,
and at a cost of about £30,000.

From the eighth century up to 1836 Ripon had been in the diocese of
York. In that year was created the modern diocese of Ripon, and the
church thus attained to cathedral rank. It had, however, always had some
pretension to that rank, not merely as a mother-church but because (up
to 1836) the Archbishops had their throne in the choir; indeed, it is
styled a cathedral in documents of 1537 and 1546. The diocese is
composed of parts of Yorkshire taken from the sees of York and Chester,
and included Wakefield, Leeds, Bradford, Halifax and Huddersfield, until
in 1888 a portion including Halifax and Huddersfield was taken away to
form part of a new diocese of Wakefield. There are three archdeaconries:
those of Richmond, Ripon, and Craven. The first is a survival, in a
diminished form, of the ancient archdeaconry of the same name; the
others are modern; the last is the only one which is held without a
canonry. In accordance with the Act of 1840, the Sub-Deanery has been
suppressed, the Prebendaries have been reduced to four, and their style
has been changed to that of Canons. In 1841, provision was made for the
appointment of Canons honorary. There is also a precentor, and three
other clergy who act as minor canons, and assist him in discharging the
cure of souls--for though the huge mediæval parish has been gradually
divided into many, the greater portion of the city itself is still
served from the cathedral church. The choir is composed of six
lay-clerks and twelve choristers. There was as late as 1890 a
Choir-school, but most of the present choristers come from Jepson's
Hospital--a charity which was founded in 1672, in Water Skellgate, and
the old buildings of which were pulled down in 1878.

There are still some relics of the ancient jurisdictions of the Chapter
and the Archbishop. Though the secular jurisdiction has been gradually
reduced by legislation to the scope of Quarter and Petty Sessions, the
Liberty has Quarter Sessions of its own, and its justices are still
nominated by the Archbishop, while his Court Military survived at any
rate into the nineteenth century. A copyhold court, called the Canon Fee
Court, is also still held by the Chapter. As regards ecclesiastical
jurisdiction, the mediæval right of the Chapter to hear testamentary and
matrimonial cases (which were not taken away from the ecclesiastical
courts till 1857) probably survived at least until the abolition of the
Peculiar. Peculiars, with but one or two exceptions, had ceased to exist
by 1850, and Ripon, once exempt from archidiaconal authority, is now
itself an archdeaconry. The Bishop of Ripon has, of course, his
Consistory court, which is held at the Cathedral.

In ending this account of one of the most venerable of English churches,
it is worth while to remark that, of the four mother-churches of the old
diocese of York, Ripon is the only one besides York Cathedral itself
which still has a collegiate foundation.



[1] The archbishopric of York arose out of the bishopric of Northumbria
in the eighth century.

[2] The name in this form is modern. In common speech the street is
always 'Stammergate,' which is probably a corruption of 'Stanbriggate.'
The latter is the original name of the street, and appears frequently in
mediæval records. It has reference to a stone bridge over a brook where
the gas-works now are. The continuation of this street toward the
Cathedral is called St. Mary-gate, but this name again seems to be
modern, and to have arisen from a notion that 'St. Mary-gate' is the
origin of the word 'Stammergate'--a notion which would be rendered more
plausible by the fact that this was the situation of the Lady-kirk.

[3] The question whether his monastery church stood over the Saxon crypt
which exists below the present Cathedral is reserved for Chap. III.

[4] For the place of Ripon in the theory of the direct connection of
Saxon architecture with the Comacine Guild of Italy, see _The Cathedral
Builders_, by Leader Scott, p. 139 _sqq._

[5] An MS. which has been thought to be identical with Wilfrid's gift
came into the market recently, and has passed to America.

[6] The Saint's return after his long exile is still commemorated at
Ripon, early in August, on the first Saturday after Lammas Day, when a
man dressed as a Saxon bishop and riding a grey horse is escorted
through the streets.

[7] This liturgical term sometimes refers to the _burial_ of a saint,
sometimes, as here, to the _death_.

[8] There is also mention of an Abbot Tylberht, but he may be the same
as Tatberht.

[9] _I.e._, 'Elves-how'--'the hill of fairies.' Coins of Aella and other
early kings have been found in the hill.

[10] At a later period the Chapter claimed also that 'St. Wilfrid's men'
need not pay tolls when travelling on business through the realm, and on
one occasion they issued to a Ripon clerk a kind of passport.

[11] Frisia's debt was remembered in the seventeenth century, when one
of the Canons of Antwerp wrote an account of Ripon monastery for his

[12] Until Walbran drew attention to this passage, the rebuilding was
attributed to Thurstan.

[13] Especially at St. Wilfrid's shrine.

[14] It has been suggested that this was the iron which in Saxon times
had been used for the ordeal of fire.

[15] A Peculiar is a district taken out of its geographical surroundings
for purposes of ecclesiastical jurisdiction (_Sir W. Anson_).

[16] In later times (at any rate) the Archbishop apparently had a
spiritual court of his own. A Chapter minute of 1467 declares a certain
person accused of a spiritual offence to be "non de foro Capituli sed de
foro Archiepiscopi, unde litteræ correctionis emanârunt."

[17] This church had disappeared, as Leland tells us, long before his
visit to Ripon, which took place about 1538. The dates of its erection
and demolition are both unknown. In the Chapter-house is preserved a key
which has been assigned to the fifteenth century, and which has been
thought to have belonged to Allhallows, but it is thought that the
church disappeared at an early date.

[18] This Sunday is still called Wilfrid Sunday at Ripon. The Saturday
preceding it is the day on which the town commemorates the Saint's
return from his first appeal to Rome. The season is regarded as a
holiday, and another relic of the nativity festival survives in the fair
held on the Thursday after August 2nd.

[19] The Easter Communion has survived till our own day. Within living
memory, and at a period when Early Celebrations were not usual, it was
celebrated at 7 A.M., and people drove in from the outlying places.

[20] This word is probably connected with the Anglo-Saxon 'béd,' a
prayer (whence 'bedesmen'), and means a 'house of prayer.' In one
passage of the records it is rendered in Latin by _proseucha_.

[21] It was Walbran, again, who drew attention to Leland's phraseology

[22] The Canon of Stanwick was always in Ripon, but was not considered
technically a canon-resident. Perhaps he was not entitled to the special
fees for residence. He had, however, full capitular rights. These had
been denied to him by Dragley, but were now restored by the Archbishop.

[23] If the Ripon hospitals were dissolved they were re-established, for
they are still fulfilling their purpose.

[24] _I.e._, the Saxon crypt.

[25] The project is being realized in our own day.

[26] _I.e._, the watchman, or setter of the watch. The town motto is,
"Except the Lord keep the city, the _Wakeman_ waketh in vain." After
1598 a horn was blown every evening to denote the setting of the watch.
If any house was robbed between horn-blowing and sunrise, compensation
could be claimed from the town. To support this system a small tax was
levied on each house-door, and if a house had two doors it paid more, as
being more liable to be robbed. A relic of the system still survives.
Every night a horn is blown thrice before the Mayor's door at 9 P.M. and
thrice at the Market Cross afterwards. The ancient horn of the Wakeman
(which appears on the city arms) is still worn by the Sergeant-at-mace
in civic processions.

[27] Since then, however, another industry had arisen--the manufacture
of spurs, for which Ripon became famous, and James was presented with a
pair. This industry did not die out till the end of the last century,
and a spur is still the crest of the city. The manufacture of
saddle-trees, which flourished here in the sixteenth century, is still
carried on.

[28] In 1640 he was at war with the Scots for their opposition to
episcopacy, and it was at Ripon that the disgraceful negotiations were
begun, by which a sum of £850 a day was to be paid to maintain their
invading army, pending a more permanent settlement. The house in which
the 'Treaty of Ripon' was negotiated stood near Ailcy Hill, and
disappeared about the beginning of the century. Charles is said to have
visited the town four times altogether.

[29] Walker's "Sufferings of the Clergy," quoted in _Surtees Soc._, Vol.
78. There is a tablet to Richardson's wife in the south Choir-aisle.

[30] The following is probably the true version of a story that is told
in connection with their demolition. One of the workmen had been hoisted
by means of a pulley, and was being held aloft by his comrades below,
when he spied some coursing in progress on Bondgate Green. Seeing the
hare well away and the dogs straining in the leash, he shouted "Let go!"
And his comrades below did.

[31] For the other hospitals, the 'Thorp' house, and other old buildings
still standing, see Chap. IV.

[32] Ripon Grammar School has produced an Archbishop of York, Matthew
Hutton (one of the two of that name who held the office from 1595 to
1606 and from 1749 to 1757 respectively: the latter Hutton became
Archbishop of Canterbury); also Beilby Porteous, Bishop of London
(1776-1787), and Dr. William Stubbs, late Bishop of Oxford.

  [Illustration: THE WEST DOORWAYS.]



Built upon the verge of a slope, along whose base the Skell hurries
eastwards under many bridges to join the Ure among the meadows a
half-mile below the town, Ripon Cathedral stands unusually well.[33] Of
general views the two best, perhaps, are to be had from the wooden
bridge by Bondgate Green, and from the south-east gate of the graveyard.
Unfortunately lack of funds prevented Sir Gilbert Scott from raising the
roofs of nave and transept to their original pitch; but what most
injures the general effect is the lowness of the central tower, which is
no higher than those at the west end. This fault, however, must have
been far less noticeable when all three towers were crowned with lofty
spires. And, even as it stands, the exterior of Ripon is dignified and
not unworthy of its commanding site. The size of the clearstorey
windows, the severity of the transept, the obvious variety of style and
date throughout the building--these are the features that strike the
observer most forcibly.

Several kinds of material have been employed. Up to almost the end of
the thirteenth century the builders used a coarse gritstone such as is
found five miles to the south-west at Brimham Rocks, and also a finer
gritstone or sandstone that may have come from Hackfall. After that date
they built with magnesian limestone, brought partly, perhaps, from near
York, but chiefly, it would seem, from Quarry Moor, a mile south of the
city. At the last restoration the older parts were repaired with
Hackfall stone, and the later parts with limestone from Quarry Moor and
Monkton Moor, and so extensive were the repairs needed on the exterior,
that the church somewhat belies, by its appearance, its real antiquity.

The most picturesque approach is from High St. Agnes-gate by a flight of
steps, which ascend through an old arch to an avenue of limes that leads
up to the south door; but it is better, perhaps, that the survey should
begin at the west end.

=The West Front= was doubtless the object of two indulgences, issued
respectively by Archbishop de Gray in 1233 and by Pope Alexander IV. in
1258, and was therefore erected just before or during the struggle
between Henry III. and Simon de Montfort, in the best period of the
Early English style.

The height of the gable is said to be 103 feet, and that of the towers
110 feet, and the front is divided by the string-courses into four
stages. In the central compartment the lowest stage is approached by
three steps, and is filled by three doorways, set in a thickening of the
wall, and surmounted by gables finished with crosses. The central
entrance, higher, more widely splayed, and more deeply recessed than the
others, has five orders and five triple shafts in the jamb, while they
have three orders and three shafts, the innermost of which is triple and
the others single. As usual in this style, the shafts are detached and
not worked on the stones of the jamb. The mouldings of the capitals are
carried through the jamb from end to end, and on the front of the piers
between the archways is a curious moulding which resembles an undercut
roll set up on end, and which has a capital as if it were a shaft. In
the arches the mouldings are chiefly rounds and hollows: many of the
former are filleted, and some of the latter are filled with the
dog-tooth (an ornament peculiar to this style), which is more profusely
employed in the central arch than in the others. The terminations of the
dripstones are foliated and stand out detached. The central gable is
adorned with a square panel of foliage, and either of the others with a
sunk foliated quatrefoil, and between the gables are spouts issuing from
the heads of animals. It is worthy of remark that all three doors open
into the nave; for as a rule when a church has three west doors, two of
them open into the aisles.[34] The wooden doors in these and all the
doorways of the church are of considerable age, and those in the central
archway here bear the date 1673 in nails.

Above the doors is a tier of five lancet windows, and above these
another tier, also of five, which diminish in height toward the sides,
the last window at either end being, however, as high as the tier below.
These tiers occupy the whole width of the compartment. Above them,
again, is a group of three small lancets graduated to the gable and
placed very high, with a string-course below them. These serve to light
the space between the internal and external roofs. In all this work the
detail is of the very best: the various arches are richly moulded and
supported by clusters of engaged shafts, which in the two great tiers
are banded at about half their height, and the dog-tooth ornament is
everywhere employed profusely. The lower tier is the more elaborate--its
mouldings more numerous, its shafts more richly clustered, its capitals
covered with foliage; and between the second and third lancets from the
right there is a small niche with a toothed edge and the remains of a
figure. At either end of the two tiers an ornament not unlike the
ball-flower of the Decorated style is carried up the jamb, and a bold
corbel-table runs up the sides of the gable, under the apex of which
there is a trefoil panel, while the whole is crowned by an elaborate

  [Illustration: VIEW FROM THE NORTH-WEST.]

In the towers the lowest of the four stages is relieved by a little
arcade of six trefoiled arches, with detached shafts, fluted capitals,
and dripstones not trefoiled and terminating in heads. Each of the three
upper stages is occupied by three tall lancets, of which that in the
centre, higher and broader than the others, is pierced and (except in
the belfry) glazed. In their enrichment these arcades resemble the
windows of the central compartment. The second stage is not quite so
high here in the towers as it is there, and the level of the
string-course above is consequently broken. The third stage, taller than
the second, reaches to the springing of the gable. The fourth, taller
than the third, rises somewhat above the gable cross, and the shafts of
the lancets are twice banded, while above are two circular panels, which
on the north tower are raised and contain quatrefoils, but on the south
tower are sunk and contain trefoils. On the other faces of these towers
the arches are not so richly moulded, and the shafts are single and also
detached, except in the uppermost stage of the north tower, where they
are engaged and filleted. As the second stage does not descend so low
upon the western face as upon the other faces, the string-course below
it, after passing round the corners of the façade, is stopped, and when
it is resumed it passes above the sill of the arcade, being carried
round the little plinths of the shafts. All the string-courses, it will
be noticed, are enriched with the nailhead moulding. The buttresses rise
to the parapets without diminishing in breadth or projection--an early
feature, and three large rolls or beads are worked upon their edge.
Those that flank the portal have each a large niche at the bottom, with
engaged shafts, and the head and dripstone trefoiled. At the corners of
the façade, where the staircases are, the buttresses are triple. The
original corbel-table, surmounted by a row of dog-tooth ornament,
remains at the top of the towers, but the battlements and pinnacles have
been put up since the removal of the spires in 1664, and were renewed in

The bells, ten in number, are in the south tower. Of the mediæval peal,
which consisted of six bells, the largest, known as the _Klank Knoll_,
was made in 1379 at York, and perhaps hung in the north tower; while
some of the others seem to have been made in Ripon in 1391. They were
all recast in 1761 by Lester & Pack of London, after which there were
eight. Two of these (Nos. 4 and 7) were recast in 1866 by Warner of
London, and two new bells (Nos. 1 and 2), by Shaw of Bradford, have been
added since 1890. The ninth bell is rung every evening at nine for the
curfew. The mediæval clock, mentioned in 1379, has long vanished;
another was put up in 1723; the present clock (by Thwaites of
Clerkenwell) dates from 1808.

The whole front has been much restored by Sir Gilbert Scott, especially
the doorways and the towers. The latter were badly cracked through
settlement (due partly to the fact that in either tower one of the sides
is older than the rest),[35] but, as Sir Gilbert himself declared, they
are once more strong enough to bear spires, and it is to be hoped that
the hint will some day be taken. The more the west front of Ripon is
studied, the more it becomes apparent how much thought has been expended
upon it. Yet as a work of art it is perplexing. To some it will appear
beautiful as a design; to others its excellence of detail will be its
only commendation, and they will complain that the tiers of windows are
wider than the gable, that there is a disproportion between the little
arcade in the lowest stage of the towers and the great lancets in the
upper stages, that the height of the latter makes the towers appear
top-heavy, that the whole façade lacks projection and depth of shade,
and that there is too much glass. Some dissatisfaction was felt, as the
Fabric Rolls indicate, in 1379, when masons were employed to divide each
of the large windows into two lights with a quatrefoil above.[36] The
mullions and quatrefoils remained till our own day, when they were
removed by Sir Gilbert Scott, whose action the present state of expert
opinion on restoration would severely condemn.

=The Nave. North Side.=--By being rebuilt with the addition of aisles, the
nave became as wide as the west front. Its width is 87 feet internally
and nearly 100 feet externally, and it is the widest nave in England
after York, Winchester, Chichester, and St. Paul's. The date of the
rebuilding is indicated by a Chapter minute of 1502, which alludes to
the _onus canonicis modo impositum super reædificationem navis_. The
Fabric Rolls mention the purchase of stone in 1503, and the roofing of
some "new work" in 1505, while a will of 1508 requires the testator's
body to be buried in "the new work of the College Church." These are
doubtless references to the south side, which is evidently the older and
bears internally the arms of Archbishop Savage (1501-1507). Again, an
indulgence of 1512, by Archbishop Bainbridge (1508-1514), alluding to
the demolition of the old nave as then complete, suggests that the north
wall had been left standing till then, and the laying of the foundation
of the north aisle, which bears his arms, is mentioned in the Roll for
1512-13. It appears from the Rolls that the main roof was up by 1520-21.
Lastly, Leland's allusion to "the body of the Chirch of late dayes made
of a great Widnesse" shows that the main part of the work was finished
at any rate by about 1538.[37]

The nave is divided--east of the towers--into six bays, of which the
easternmost is narrower than the rest, to answer to a fragment of the
old nave preserved within. The plinth is considerably higher than that
of the west front.

On the north side, the six buttresses project 5 feet at the base and
rise to the parapet in two stages, which are crowned by gables. These
gables have their sides curved inwards and are adorned with crockets and
finials, the latter being attached to the front of the gable, while
grotesques project from the angles. The windows are of three lights, and
are rather acutely jointed and deeply set for such late work, and their
arches are well moulded, a broad hollow running up the sides. As is
often the case in late work, there are no sub-arches in the tracery, and
the mullions are carried up through the head. The easternmost of these
windows is of two lights, and has a transom in the tracery, and the
westernmost is shortened to allow of a doorway of four-centred form
beneath. Below the sills runs a string-course, which rises to pass over
the door. The parapet is battlemented, not for military purposes but for
ornament, and at intervals are the beginnings of panelled pinnacles, set
diagonally and partially embedded in the battlements. The clearstorey
has no pilasters or buttresses, but where it joins the west tower a
projecting strip of masonry may be seen half imbedded in the Early
English work and half in the Perpendicular. This is, without doubt, the
upper part of one of the buttresses of the old nave.

The clearstorey windows are actually larger than those of the aisle
below, and are again rather acutely pointed for late work. They are of
five lights, and the two mullions in the middle are carried up through
the head, but a sub-arch comprises the two outer lights on either side.
The last window eastwards is of three lights, is shorter than the rest,
and has several transoms in the tracery. In the parapet, the coping is
not carried down the sides of the battlements as it is on the aisles,
and the rudimentary pinnacles spring from grotesque corbels at the
string-course, with a plain corbel at the side of each to carry the

=The Central Tower. North and West Sides.=--The central tower of Ripon is
probably unique among towers in being divided vertically between two
different styles of architecture. Its north and west sides are
Archbishop Roger's work,[38] but the other sides are Perpendicular,
having been rebuilt after the collapse of the south-east angle. Seen
from the north-west, however, it presents much the same appearance now
as in the twelfth century, and either side displays a pair of
round-headed windows, with the weathering of the original roof rising
high between them and (on the west face) cutting off their corners. The
windows have a shaft in the jamb, and the abacus of the capitals is
continued round the tower as a string, but interrupted by the
buttresses and weatherings, as is also another string below the sills.
In the windows of the north side there is a space or tympanum over the
inner arch. Each corner of the tower was strengthened by a pair of flat
buttresses, with one shaft at the corner itself and another at the inner
side of either buttress, and with the shafts banded half way up and
again near the top. These buttresses are received in an overhanging
corbel-table, above which runs a hollow moulding, filled with dog-tooth
ornament of a large size and continued round the projections that serve
for gargoyles. The use of this Early English ornament in a scheme which
might otherwise be pure Norman affords a good instance of the
Transitional character of the work. The battlements are later.

=The North Transept=, with the three adjacent bays of the choir, gives
some idea of the external appearance of Archbishop Roger's church.[39]
The date of the beginning of the work ascribed to him is placed within
his lifetime (1154-1181) by his own words quoted in Chapter I. The
transept is divided by the string-courses into four stages, and has a
very massive plinth which is lower than that of the nave, thus
expressing the slope of the ground. The west wall is shorter than the
east and has two bays only, but south of the second bay, and separated
from it by a flat pilaster, is a narrow space, along the top of which
are the remains of a cornice: the two bays proper are separated by a
recessed buttress of some projection. One round-headed window, divided
by a mullion, appears in the second stage; and in the fourth stage are
two plain, round-headed windows, not subdivided. The original
corbel-table remains above, but it is surmounted by a (probably)
fourteenth century battlemented parapet, which is returned over the
central buttress, forming a square turret, which has a (renewed)
gargoyle below it, and is pierced with a cross. The buttresses at the
north-west corner of the transept, where is a staircase, are clustered
and rise to the top of the wall, and like most Norman buttresses, and
some of Early English date (as in the west front), they do not diminish
as they ascend. The large buttress on the west side of this corner has
two carved stones built into it at the height of about eighteen feet
from the ground. They are covered with patterns resembling the knots so
often found on ancient crosses, and are of especial interest as being
possibly survivals of the church built by St. Wilfrid.[40] It is
noticeable that the first string-course is the only one which is not
carried round the buttresses at this corner. A recessed buttress of the
same type separates the end of the transept from that of an aisle which
is thrown out from its eastern side.

  [Illustration: DOORWAY, NORTH TRANSEPT.]

The lowest stage of this north elevation is blank save for a rather
interesting doorway set in a thickening of the wall near the western
corner. In this doorway the innermost arch is of unusual form--a trefoil
resting on corbels--and its edges are left square and plain. Over it is
a semicircular arch of three orders with three detached shafts in either
jamb, and as usual throughout almost all Archbishop Roger's work, the
arch has the edge-roll between hollows (here on every order), the shafts
are detached, their bases round upon square, and their capitals
square-topped, with the edge of the abacus hollowed. The capitals here
are enriched with good foliage of a rather classical type.

In the stage above are three round-headed windows with a shaft in either
jamb and foliage on the capitals. Each of these windows, like that on
the west side, and several in the other transept, has been divided by a
mullion into two lights, presumably in the fourteenth century.[41] The
third stage, which corresponds to the triforium within, is blank here as
on the west side, and in the fourth stage are three round-headed
windows, plainly recessed and chamfered. The gable, on which stands a
plain cross, has been lowered, as is shown by the weathering on the
tower, and its sides, after descending, take an upward turn to meet the
corners. It is flanked by two lofty square turrets, which have been
compared with those on the west front of Tewkesbury. They have a shaft
at each angle, are pierced on each face with two round-headed openings
under a round arch, with a string below running round the turret, and
are surmounted by pyramidal stone caps ending in pommels and having a
rude pinnacle at each corner. The end of the aisle is set back, and
displays a window like the three above the door, but without the
dividing mullion; and above this a round-headed niche, doubtless once a
window that lighted the space over the aisle-vault; while a round arch
over this niche, and a little pointed arch on the buttress adjacent
westwards, carry a curious thickening of the masonry above. The
arrangement of the windows here breaks the continuity of the first
string-course, which, after crossing the main elevation, has to be
stopped and resumed at a lower level in order to pass beneath the
windows of the aisle. At the corner of the latter are more clustered
buttresses, terminating below the parapet, and above them rises a plain
gabled pinnacle (an addition, probably, of the fourteenth century),
while another buttress, rising from the inclined coping of the
aisle-wall, runs up the clearstorey.

The east side of the aisle has two more buttresses like those at the
corner, and consists of two bays, each containing a window like that at
the end. It is hard to say whether the moulded string or cornice below
the parapet is original, but the gargoyle which juts from it and the
parapet itself, with its cruciform piercings, are not earlier than the
fourteenth century. The roofs of the aisles in both transepts and in the
choir have been lowered, and it has been suggested that this was done at
the time when the Minster was fortified against the Scots, in order to
afford better standing-room for armed men,[42] and the various
battlements on choir and transepts were probably erected for the same
occasion. Here the round arches of the triforium have been built up, and
the clearstorey harmonizes with the more elaborate scheme of the choir.
The wall is divided into three bays by flat pilasters received in the
cornice, and each bay contains a round arch, pierced and glazed, between
two lower and narrower pointed arches, all resting on single detached
shafts. Between the buttresses runs a corbel-table, supporting a
battlemented parapet of Decorated character, in which the merlons are of
great width in proportion to the embrasures--an early feature--and have
the usual cruciform piercings, so splayed at the back as to leave no
doubt that they were really intended for the use of archers. The three
gargoyles below have been renewed, and none of the gargoyles on choir or
transepts are earlier, perhaps, than the Decorated period.

=The Choir. North Side.=--Here the three westernmost bays of the aisle and
clearstorey respectively are Archbishop Roger's work. Two flat
pilaster-buttresses rise out of the slope of the plinth and run up the
aisle-wall, each terminating short of the parapet in two sets-off close
together. The level of the window-sills was the same here as in the
transept, but the string-course has been broken in the Decorated period
by the insertion of three slender windows, each having two lights with a
quatrefoil above. Above the windows comes the moulded string or cornice
continued from the transept, and above this the pierced merlons of the
Decorated battlement are again very broad in proportion to the
embrasures. Instead of being built up, the exposed arches of the
triforium have here been glazed. The clearstorey resembles that of the
transept, but the corbel table is surmounted here by a slope, on which
rest two large gargoyles (renewed), and instead of a Decorated
battlement there is a plain coping.

The last three bays of the clearstorey and the last two of the aisle are
Decorated work, probably of the end of the thirteenth century, and here
the level of the plinth is again lowered to suit the slope of the
ground. In the aisle the two bays are separated from the rest and from
each other by buttresses having a projection of 8 feet. Either of these
buttresses is crowned by a gable having a finial, and is surmounted by a
tall square pinnacle to receive the thrust of a flying buttress that
spans the aisle; and either pinnacle has its sides panelled and gabled,
a head at each corner, and five finials. The two last aisle-windows are
larger than those in the western bays, but have much the same tracery.
They have, however, a thick shaft worked on the stones of the jamb, and
a large keeled round on the edge of the arch, and there is no dripstone.
Below them is a small string-course, which is carried round the east
end. The string or cornice above them is made to match that on the
western portion of the aisle, but in the battlement the merlons are of
merely ordinary width. In the clearstorey the wall is considerably set
back from the Transitional bays, and the three windows are very
elaborate. Their arches are richly moulded and acutely pointed, the
springing-line being rather low down. Each window is divided into four
lights, comprised under two sub-arches, either of which contains a
circle enclosing a trefoil, while above, in the head of the window, is a
large circle with five trefoils radiating from its centre. The
dripstones end in heads. A moulded string-course, with gargoyles, runs
below the parapet, which is a continuation of the plain coping on the
western bays.

From this point it will be best to return to the west front, and proceed
along the south side of the Cathedral.

=The Nave. South Side.=--This side is architecturally superior to the
other, and differs from it greatly in detail. The plinth, which is very
massive, rises even higher above that of the west front here than it
does there, and the buttresses project over 8 feet at the base and are
of three stages, and the gables on these have their sides straight,
their eaves everywhere continued to the wall, and their corners enriched
with heads, but on the second stage only. In the two easternmost
buttresses the lowest stage has heads also, and in the last buttress
eastwards this stage, for some unexplained reason, is twice as broad as
the others, and has an ogee gable. On all gables the crockets are large,
and the finials, which here stand upon the apex, are huge and very
boldly executed; while the rudimentary pinnacles are thicker here than
on the north side and more detached from the parapet. The wall is
thickened up to the windows, below which there is a set-off, and the
windows themselves are so moulded as to seem set in heavy frames, and
are much less acutely pointed than in the other aisle, their arches
approaching the 'drop' form. The rather clumsy mullions are carried up
through the head, but branch out to form arches over the side lights,
and are reduced in thickness above the branching point; and in the head
there is a transom, except in the narrow easternmost window. Though the
aisles differ so much, the clearstorey is much the same on this side as
on the other, and again one of Archbishop Roger's buttresses is visible,
imbedded between the Perpendicular walling and the west tower. The
height of his roof is indicated by the weathering on the central tower
and by the west gable, and the sixteenth century roof was probably not
lower, for the central tower shows high weatherings of the latter period
also; but the pitch had been lowered before the last restoration, and
Sir Gilbert Scott was unable to raise it to the full height. It is to be
hoped that the raising may yet be accomplished, and that lead may be
substituted for slate.

=The South Transept=, all but its eastern side, is mainly Archbishop
Roger's work. The plinth is altogether lower not only than that of the
nave, and even of the west front, but also than that of the other
transept, and the architecture thus expresses the downward slope of the
ground from north to south as well as from west to east. Here, as in the
nave, the buttresses have a greater projection than on the north side of
the church, as if the ground here were more liable to settle. As this
transept bears a general resemblance to the other, it will be best to
note only the points in which they differ. In the west wall the window
in the second stage has no mullion, the innermost buttress is of the
same type as its next neighbour, and the parapet is returned over all
the buttresses, thus forming three 'turrets,' of which that nearest to
the nave rests partially on a large corbel. The staircase at the
south-west corner terminates at the top in a square turret with a
pyramidal stone cap.

In the south elevation the doorway is very elaborate. The opening is of
the form sometimes called the shouldered arch, a square lintel (which,
curiously enough, is not one stone) resting on corbels; and the
semicircular arch over this is of four orders, the uppermost of which
projects considerably from the wall. On either side there are five
shafts, the outermost order having two, which are placed on the front of
the jamb and share one abacus. These two shafts are worked on the stones
of the jamb--a mode of construction not very common in such early
doorways. The details resemble those of the less elaborate doorway in
the other transept, but some of the foliage on the capitals here is
almost Early English. This doorway is approached by five steps, and was
once covered by a Renaissance porch.

  [Illustration: DOORWAY, SOUTH TRANSEPT.]

In the windows of the second stage the abacus of the capitals is
continued as a string from window to window. The two flanking buttresses
have been crowned at some later period with gables ending in finials,
and the great gable is pierced with a Perpendicular window of three
lights, which has three transoms in the head, the mullions carried up to
the archivolt, and a dripstone ending in foliage. The sides of the gable
here do not take an upward turn to meet the corners, and there are no
flanking turrets. In the end of the aisle the blocked upper window is
pointed, and has a little trefoiled niche above and to the left of it,
and there is no thickening of the masonry above to necessitate
carrying-arches. The buttresses at the corner reach to the top of the
parapet and have no surmounting pinnacle. The small portion of the east
side of the aisle which is not concealed by the Chapter-house and
Lady-loft displays in the lower stage a somewhat inexplicable blind
arch, carrying an inclined thickening of the masonry that has been
afterwards built up to a level, and below the parapet a moulded cornice
like that on the north side of the church. This cornice is continued
within the Lady-loft, and reappears over the last bay of the

=The Chapter-House.=--The south aisle of the choir is concealed by a wing
of three storeys, of which the lowest, though exposed to view by the
conditions of the site, is of the nature of a crypt, while the second
comprises the Chapter-house and vestry, and the third, known as the
Lady-loft, is an addition, probably of the fourteenth century. The first
two storeys seem to have formed part of a church earlier than Archbishop
Roger's,[43] and have been variously ascribed to Archbishops Thurstan
(1114-1141)[44] and Thomas of Bayeux (1069-1100).[45] From the east wall
of these two storeys an apse is thrown out, upon which rests a square
projection from the Lady-loft, too short to be called a chancel. The two
westernmost buttresses, up to the string above the crypt, are evidently
additions by Archbishop Roger, while the third, which completely encases
a three-sided apsidal projection at the corner of the vestry, is of much
later date and will be examined presently. Adjoining it is a flat
pilaster buttress, apparently original. The crypt has five unglazed
windows along the south side, all round-headed and plainly splayed, and,
where it joins the transept, there is a large rectangular squint which
gives light to a staircase that leads up to the Chapter-house. A pointed
doorway, made in later times, cuts into the fourth window from the west.
In the second storey there are on this side only four windows, which are
spaced without any regard to the position of those below. The two
westernmost, which are circular and without tracery--a type of window
that is somewhat rare--can hardly be later than the time of Archbishop
Roger, and may be earlier: the next two are square and of much later
date. Above the windows the eaves of the original roofs remain,
supported on a corbel-table which is carried round the apsidal chamber
at the corner and round the eastern apse. At the south side of the
latter the builders have left a narrow recess which extends from the
ground nearly to the top of the crypt.

The apse displays in the lower storey a round-headed unglazed window
like those along the south wall, and in the upper storey a small
round-headed light at the south side and a larger window in the middle,
of the same size as that below, but not so deeply splayed, and with the
head rudely trefoiled. On either side of these central windows, a shaft,
made in short joints, runs up the apse from base to eaves. The string
between the two storeys is carried round these shafts, and their
circular bases overhang the plinth and rest on small blocks, while the
capitals are square-topped, as in Archbishop Roger's work. From the roof
of this apse and of the apsidal chamber at the corner, and from the
eaves that project along the south wall, it would seem that the whole
structure was roofed with stone at a steep inclination. Where its wall
joins the transept the stone-work seems to be of the same date on both
sides of the corner, so that there may have been an original buttress or
wall extending southwards from this point.

The third storey is now the Cathedral library, but was originally the
=Lady-chapel=, and was commonly called the Lady-loft. Such a position for
a Lady-chapel--at the south side of the choir, and in an upper
storey--is extremely unusual.[46] Authorities have differed widely as to
its date. Some have assigned it to about 1482; but the Lady-loft is
clearly mentioned in the Treasurers' Rolls in 1470, and its
architecture, which is Decorated rather than Perpendicular, would be in
favour of ascribing it to the middle of the previous century, were it
not for a certain coarseness of execution which makes a suspension of
judgment advisable.[47] To support this additional storey, the two
western buttresses were carried up, diminishing both in projection and
in width, to within a few feet of the upper string-course. The huge
buttress at the corner was very possibly added later, to counteract a
settlement which is evident to anyone so standing as to bring the shafts
on the apse in line with the corner of the choir, and which was
doubtless due to the weight of the Lady-loft. This buttress is of the
same height as the others, but is broader, and has as many as seven
stages, the fourth of which is crowned by a truncated hip roof and
pierced with a slit to light the apsidal chamber within, from whose
sloping top the upper stages spring. Traces of some external means of
access to this apsidal chamber from below may be seen at the west side.
Except one small lancet adjoining this buttress, the windows of the
Lady-loft are square-headed, with mullions branching out into
intersecting arches whose cusps spring from the soffit independently of
the mouldings--an early feature; and the dripstones are square labels
terminating in foliage, but with the ends not returned. Altogether these
are more like the windows of a castle or manor-house than of a church.
The four towards the south are of three lights, but the east window has
five lights and is set higher in the wall, while its dripstone
terminates at one end in a grotesque sitting figure. Various gargoyles
project from the string-course, which rises to pass over the east
window. The angles of the east end seem to rest upon the very edge of
the cornice of the apse, and one wonders how the wall is supported along
the chord of the curve. In reality, however, the apse is not so sharply
curved internally as externally, and its walls are very thick, so that
the square form could be imposed upon the round without much
overlapping. The parapet shows the same wide merlons and cruciform
piercings which characterize the other Decorated parapets of the church,
and it may have been brought forward from the choir-aisle.

The last bay of the latter displays a window like those on the north
side, but having foliage on the capitals of the shafts; and below the
parapet runs the cornice continued from the transept, with a curious
gargoyle upon it. Part of the base of Archbishop Roger's choir-aisle is
visible imbedded between this wall and the apse.

Those parts of the church which were rebuilt after the collapse of the
south-east corner of the tower can be best examined from the roof of the
Lady-loft, which forms with the roofs of the aisles a level surface of
considerable extent.

=The East Side of the South Transept= has three buttresses, crowned by
pinnacles of which the two nearest to the tower are modern. The central
buttress is much shallower than the others and has a different
termination. The clearstorey displays three well-arched windows of three
lights (the innermost window a little smaller than the others) with
tracery not unlike that in the south aisle of the nave. The parapet is
probably old Decorated work that has been used again, for it has the
wide merlons and cruciform piercings characteristic of early
battlements, and the Perpendicular pinnacles, it will be noticed, are
not in the middle of the merlons. The manner in which the corner of the
tower has been reconstructed is extremely interesting. Up the angle
formed by choir and transept runs a sort of excrescence of masonry that
blossoms out, so to speak, into an extraordinary complication of
corbelling near the top, and is itself corbelled away at the bottom. In
this excrescence, as elsewhere, old materials have been used again, and
in the projecting mass, at the level of both triforium and clearstorey,
are the springings of arches curving eastwards and southwards, which
suggest that the adjoining walls had at first been intended to be on a
more advanced plane, and that the arches of the triforium were to have
been round in the transept (where, by the way, they are recessed) as
they are in the choir. This angle contains the tower staircase, which is
lighted by a little window in the upper corbelling and is reached from
the clearstorey gallery of the transept. On this side of the church the
parapet walk has to be carried round the corners of the tower on


=The Central Tower. South and East Sides.=--The south and east faces are
each divided by a central pilaster running up to the top of the parapet,
but otherwise the general scheme is not unlike that of the older sides,
save that the windows here are set higher in the wall. Each window has
two lights, wide and low, with much tracery above them, in which the
mullion branches into two sub-arches; and there are dripstones ending in
heads. The high weathering on these sides indicates that it was not in
the Perpendicular period that the roofs of the church were so
unfortunately lowered. At either end of each of these sides a buttress
rises to the base of the parapet in three stages, the second of which
has on the front a panel with an ogee crocketed hood and is crowned by a
gable with a grotesque at each corner, while the third is narrower,
but is also panelled. Various gargoyles project from the uppermost
string, which on the east side is not broken by the central pilaster. As
this string is higher than the corbel-table of the older sides, the
tower presents a very curious appearance when seen from the south-west
or north-east.[48] The battlements and pinnacles were perhaps first
added when the south and east sides were rebuilt, but in places they
have been much renewed. The stair-turret is surmounted by a hexagonal
stone cap, which is pierced with a spire-light and crowned by a finial;
and there is also a wooden polygonal bell-cote at the north-west corner
of the tower. At the north-east angle the Perpendicular masonry turns
the corner and enfolds the Transitional buttresses, where it stops with
a jagged edge. This unfinished work has a considerable projection from
the Transitional walling, the intention having been, perhaps, to correct
externally the obliquity in the ground plan of Roger's tower;[49] it is
also corbelled away at the bottom, probably to afford freer passage
along the parapet walk and to avoid the necessity of a squinch.
Originally the tower had perhaps a low pyramidal roof without a parapet,
and then came several successive spires. The last of these, which fell
in 1660, is said to have been 120 feet high from the top of the tower,
and its disappearance has surely done more than anything else to spoil
the external effect of the building.[50]

=The South Side of the Choir.=--Here the three westernmost bays are
Perpendicular and the others Decorated. The westernmost window is
smaller than the rest, and is of three lights, with the mullions carried
up through the head. The next two windows imitate in curvature their
Decorated neighbours, and are of four lights, with the central mullion
branching out to form two sub-arches, between which a foliated circle, a
feature not common in Perpendicular windows, is introduced into the
head. In the fourth bay the Decorated arch has been filled with
Perpendicular tracery, but the fifth and sixth windows remain in their
original beauty as on the north side, save that in the easternmost the
small circles have been mutilated and have lost their foliation. The two
flying buttresses resemble those on the north side, but from the points
where they meet the wall two pilasters run up into the parapet, which is
flush with them and is crowned by a plain coping, while beneath it is a
string, with gargoyles. Except at this end the wall, as in the
clearstorey of the nave, is not buttressed, notwithstanding the size of
the windows and their nearness together.


=The East End.=--The rebuilding of the east end of Archbishop Roger's
choir was probably the object of an indulgence of 1284 by Archbishop
Wickwaine, a brief of 1285 by Pope Celestine V., two indulgences issued
in 1288 and 1300 respectively by Archbishops Romanus and Corbridge, and
some credentials issued by the latter in 1302 for a collector of funds.
And yet it is hard to fix the date of the work with any exactness. It
had apparently not begun in 1286, for a mandate of Archbishop Romanus in
that year begins _Cancellus Rypon' ruinosus reparetur_; but it may have
been completed before the irruption of the Scots in 1318. Two
indulgences of Archbishop Melton, one of which is dated 1328, do indeed
allude to some "new work" as still unfinished, but this "new work" may
have been the repairs necessitated by the violence of the Scots.[51] The
east end of the Cathedral, then, recalls that period in our history when
Edward I. was wrestling with the Scottish problem, and was also carrying
into effect those lessons in representative government which he had
learnt from Simon de Montfort.

  [Illustration: THE EAST END.]

The well-marked plinth of this east end has been already noticed. Either
corner of the choir contains a staircase, and is strengthened by a pair
of massive buttresses and crowned by an octagonal turret with a conical
stone cap and a finial. These buttresses have a projection of 8 feet,
rise to the top of the aisles, and are surmounted by gables with
finials, and at the north corner the gables and the coping of the aisle
are crocketed. At the south corner the upper part of the turret has
been used as a cell. It is lighted by a small slit and has a wooden
floor with a trap in it, from which a ladder once descended to the head
of the staircase; and at the west side, in the parapet of the aisle,
there is a garderobe seat. It would be interesting to know whether this
turret was a prison, or a place of penance, or whether it was occupied
by a watchman or sentinel, or, as is not improbable, by one of those
recluses who were so often attached to religious communities in the
middle ages. The central compartment is flanked by two huge buttresses,
which have a projection of 10 feet at the bottom and rise to the base of
the gable, or rather a little above it, in two stages only, the lower
stage reaching a little above the coping of the aisles, and both stages
are crowned by gables with finials.[52] The three compartments of the
front are on the same plane. Each aisle shows at the end a window of the
same pattern with these in the sides, and that in the south aisle has
foliage on the capitals of its shafts and is surmounted by a little
window of trefoil form which lights a staircase within, for staircases
ascend over these windows in the thickness of the wall and run up the
angles of the clearstorey.

The great window in the central compartment is one of the finest
examples of Geometrical tracery, if not one of the largest windows, in
England. It is over 50 feet high, is 25 feet wide, and has seven lights.
Of these the three at either end are comprised under a sub-arch, in the
head of which are three cinquefoiled circles, while the central light of
the seven is surmounted by an arch, not so high as its neighbours, but
impaling upon its acute point a huge circle which fills the head of the
window and contains six trefoils radiating from its centre. The arch of
this superb window is rather acutely pointed and richly moulded, and has
two very slender shafts worked on the stones of either jamb, with
foliage on their capitals. Just above the ground below this window there
may be observed in the wall one of the many architectural puzzles in
which the Cathedral abounds, a half-arch, rising toward the right and
filled in with masonry, except at the right side, where is a narrow
opening that runs in for a few feet.[53] A string-course continued from
the sides of the aisles passes below the three windows and round the
buttresses, which are further relieved at a little height above it by a
set-off. The gable has been entirely rebuilt by Sir Gilbert Scott. It is
slightly set back, and displays a lofty window of four lights with
geometrical tracery not unlike that in the great window below. On either
side of this window there is panelling graduated to suit the triangular
space, and the gable is crowned by an elaborate cross and flanked by two
pinnacles which resemble those of the flying buttresses but are larger
and have foliage at the corners instead of heads. The original Decorated
gable was probably very much of this pattern. Its height was indicated
by the weathering on the tower, and it seems to have had flanking
pinnacles and graduated panelling. It had, however, been lowered in
pitch and had been altered also by the insertion of a rather debased
Perpendicular window.[54] Whatever may be thought, therefore, of Sir
Gilbert Scott's action in rebuilding it, he has surely improved the
general effect of the front, and it is well that one of the roofs, at
any rate, should have been raised to the original pitch. What is most to
be regretted, perhaps, is the removal of all traces, if any there were,
of the chantry of the Holy Trinity _supra summum altare_, which was
situated, as its name implies, in the roof, behind the old gable.

In Archbishop Roger's day the choir was probably as long as it is now,
and Walbran (followed by Sir Gilbert Scott) believed that the aisles at
that period were returned across the east end. If so, the clearstorey
must have been a bay shorter than at present, with a pent roof
projecting from below it on the east side to cover the returned portion
of the aisle. The rebuilding of the east end in the Decorated period was
the first operation in which limestone was employed, but much of the old
gritstone has been used again.

   (Junction of XIIth and XVIth Century work.)]


[33] The name Ripon comes probably from the Latin _ripa_, "a river's
bank." Bede uses a form "Inrhypum," which arose perhaps out of _in
ripis_. The derivation _Uri pons_ has been generally abandoned.

[34] The reason of the peculiarity here is the unusual width of the
nave. (_See below_, p. 44.)

[35] This will be explained in Chapter III.

[36] See illustration, p. 17.

[37] This was pointed out by Walbran.

[38] The Transitional or Transition-Norman work at Ripon probably was
not all erected during Roger's lifetime, but all of it will, in these
pages, be associated with his name.

[39] Upon a modern Chapter seal there is what is possibly meant for a
representation of Roger's church, with western towers, three spires, and
no aisles. The seal is a reproduction of another of the time of James
I., which may have been reproduced from a third of earlier date.

[40] For the origin and meaning of this knotwork, so often found in
these islands on ancient crosses, and for its value as an illustration
of the possible connection of Saxon architecture with the Comacine Guild
of Italy, see _The Cathedral Builders_, by Leader Scott, pp. 82-99, and
p. 145.

[41] This was the case with all the windows of both transepts--in the
lower tier at any rate--until the last restoration. The reason why Sir
Gilbert Scott has left or renewed the mullions in some of the windows is
probably that he did not wish to disturb the memorial glass.

[42] The suggestion was made by Mr. Francis Bond.

[43] _I.e._, they were probably a Southern Chapel of the choir (_vid.
inf._, Ch. III.). It is doubtful whether this earlier choir itself can
have had a crypt.

[44] By Sir Gilbert Scott.

[45] By Walbran.

[46] Lady-chapels are usually found at the extreme east end of the
choir, unless that position was wanted for the resting-place of a local

[47] Walbran favoured 1482; Sir Gilbert Scott the middle of the
fourteenth century.

[48] See the illustration, p. 2.

[49] _The Builder_, February 4th, 1893.

[50] This last spire must have been erected after all intention of
rebuilding the north and west sides of the tower had been given up, and
therefore (perhaps) after the dissolution. The three spires are shown
upon the seventeenth century communion plate and in several old prints
(see the illustration, p. 32). They were wooden and covered with lead,
and are represented as octagonal. The two at the west end are shown
without parapets at the base, and all three are without those sloping
spurs which so often connect an octagonal spire with the corners of the

[51] Dean Waddilove, in his monograph on the Cathedral, mentions that
the date 1330 is to be found upon the choir, but he does not say where.
Walbran believed the work to have been executed between 1280 and 1297,
and is followed by Sir Gilbert Scott.

[52] The buttresses of this east wall were formerly connected at the
bottom by a debased battlemented wall, and the space within was used for
sheds, the grooves for whose pent roofs can be seen on the sides of the

[53] The arch springs from the buttress (as an excavation in 1900
showed), and may perhaps be a relieving-arch, to take the weight off a
weak place in the foundations. Yet it was not intended, apparently, to
be filled up. The stones forming the right edge of the hole are coigns,
and have mason-marks on their sides. At the back of the hole the masonry
appears to be of some antiquity: may it be part of the foundation of the
east end of Archbishop Roger's choir?

[54] There are several prints of the Cathedral, as it was before
restoration, in the Ripon Museum.

   (By the kind permission of the Archæological Institute.)]



=The Nave.=--On entering through the west doors a perspective is disclosed
of 133 feet to the end of the Nave, 170 feet to the Rood Screen, and 270
feet to the end of the Choir. The Early English builders have preserved
two bays of Archbishop Roger's nave and have incorporated them into the
west towers,[55] and the two great tower-arches which they have cut
through the Transitional walling are very fine specimens of the Early
English style. Each of the half-pillars that support them is a cluster
of five large engaged shafts separated by very deep hollows, and upon
every shaft there is a large fillet, which is carried up into the
capital and down over the base. The base consists of two round mouldings
separated by a hollow and fillets, and overhangs the plinth so much as
to suggest that the floor just here has been lowered. The capitals and
the arches themselves (which are of three orders) are moulded with
rounds and hollows very strongly marked, and the hood of the southern
arch terminates eastwards in a bunch of foliage.

The interior of the towers is more richly treated than is usual. Over
the tower-arch is a small arcade of four members with clustered shafts,
and with a string below, while the other three walls are plain up to the
windows, each of which is flanked, as on the exterior, by two blind
lancets. The arcading thus formed has clustered and banded shafts (not
detached), behind which ran a passage, now blocked, and below the sill,
and a little distance apart, are two strings, to the lower of which the
sills of all the windows save two descend in steps. The windows are not
splayed, and those which now look into the aisles are unglazed, and
their flanking lancets are of unequal width. All the arches are much
moulded and ornamented with the dog-tooth, and the central shaft of each
cluster has a fillet. In each corner a detached shaft springs from a
round corbel above the lowest string and rises to the impost of the
arches, being banded twice on the way; and from its capital another
shaft runs up to the ceiling. The doors to the spiral staircases open
into little square lobbies which have vaults with groin-ribs springing
from corbels.[56] In the north tower is a modern stained window of some

The two bays of Archbishop Roger's work incorporated in the towers,
taken together with another Transitional bay at the east end, make it
possible to imagine the whole interior of what must have been the most
remarkable nave in England. It was unusually broad. From the ground to
the first string (about 16 feet) there was plain wall. Above this was a
triforium (if it can be so called[57]) of the unusual height of about 28
feet, and there were thus no windows except in the clearstorey, and
there only in alternate bays. According to Sir Gilbert Scott the
triforium and clearstorey were probably continued across the west wall.
The bays were alternately broad and narrow, and there is room for five
of each sort. The westernmost bay shows in the triforium stage a round
arch comprising four pointed arches. Of these the two in the middle are
raised above the others on shafts of two stages, in the upper of which
the capital is circular and its moulding is continued along the tympanum
to the _apices_ of the two lower arches. The tympanum is relieved by a
sunk quatrefoil in a serrated circle, and so is the space under either
of the two central sub-arches. The passage in this bay has been built
up, and the bay itself shortened, probably when the tower arches were

   G. SCOTT. See _p._ 16.
   (By permission of the Archæological Institute.)]

In the adjoining narrow bay, the comprising arch is pointed, there are
only two sub-arches, and there are no quatrefoils, except in the
tympanum on the north side. Doors have also been inserted in this bay to
communicate with the passages behind the arcades in the towers.

The shafts throughout are single, and (in the sub-arches) detached, and
the details generally are the same as in all Archbishop Roger's work. It
is worthy of remark that the tympanum over the sub-arches is flush with
the lower part of the wall, and that the comprising arches, with all the
walling above them, are a plane in advance. The more natural plan would
have been to make the comprising arch flush with the wall below, and to
have set back the sub-arches and tympanum. In consequence of Archbishop
Roger's arrangement the shafts of the comprising arch stand, not upon
the sill of the triforium, but upon corbels, each of which carries two
of them and also a roof-shaft[58] which forms with them a cluster.

The clearstorey shows in the broad bay a stilted round arch, pierced,
between two small blind lancets, and in the narrow bay three small blind
lancets. These arches are not recessed or moulded, and are without
hoods, as usual. Their piers, behind which is a passage, are square, and
the impost moulding is continued as a string.

The roof-shafts have a curious break in them at the impost-level of the
triforium, where a face is carved upon them with a band above it. They
are banded also by the impost-moulding of either storey, and by the
upper string-course, and end in square-topped capitals a little short of
the present roof. Throughout Archbishop Roger's church the roof was
probably flat, or slightly coved as at Peterborough. The corbels from
which the roof-shafts spring are moulded and finished off with scrolls,
and are placed at the level of the string-course, which is undercut; but
on either side of the tower-arches the shafts have been shortened to a
point above the string, which has been made continuous beneath them, and
instead of corbels they have grotesque heads carved upon their ends.
Beyond the westernmost roof-shaft there is a further shaft, which at
first sight seems to have been the beginning of another bay, but the
round moulding which rises from it runs up vertically instead of curving
over to form an arch.

The western wall is far more impressive from within the church than from
without, and shows the Early English style at its best. The three
doorways have stilted segmental arches moulded with rounds, and their
hood-moulds are continuous. Their shafts are single and engaged, and in
the jambs are holes for the great bars which no doubt held the doors
against the Scots in 1318. But if the doorways are plainer, the great
lancets above are much richer, on this side than on the other. Their
arches have more mouldings, their hood-moulds as well as the
string-courses are enriched with the nailhead, the dog-tooth is used
more profusely, and the piers are clusters of seven engaged shafts
instead of five, banded at half their height and having behind them in
both tiers passages which formerly communicated with the towers. The
glass, by Burlison and Grylls, is worthy of its framing. It was put up
to the memory of the late Bishop in 1886. In the lower tier "the earthly
type" is represented by the Parable of the Ten Virgins. In the upper
tier, in which the various designs represent "the Heavenly type," the
Bride is the Church, and Our Lord is seen enthroned and surrounded by
choirs of angels.

The yellow gritstone of the older work is contrasted curiously with the
white limestone of the Perpendicular nave, and at the junction the later
builders have left a jagged edge. Among very late Gothic buildings there
are few indeed which are of so good a quality as this nave of Ripon,
which, like the late church towers of Somerset, shows that mediæval art
took long to die out in regions remote from London. It is, indeed, the
architecture of the days of Agincourt rather than of the eve of the
English Renaissance. The pillars are characteristic of the Perpendicular
style, their section being a square with a semi-circle projecting from
each side, and the corners hollowed. Their bases have complex plinths of
considerable height and are polygonal, but follow roughly the form of
the pillar, and the mouldings, as usual in this style, overhang the
plinth. The capitals, with small mouldings and many angles, are of
somewhat the same form as the bases. On the westernmost complete pillar
of the north arcade are two shields, charged respectively with the arms
of Ripon (a horn) and of Pigott of Clotherholme. The arches, instead of
being of that depressed form which is so common in late work, are very
beautifully proportioned, and their mouldings are bold, numerous and
well-cut. There is no triforium; but a passage, at a slightly lower
level than in Archbishop Roger's bays, runs below the great clearstorey
windows, which were once, no doubt, gorgeous with stained glass. Their
arches are moulded, but the splay is left plain. The roof-shafts, which
are in clusters of three and have fillets upon them, spring from
semi-octagonal corbels, and where each cluster passes the string-course
there is an angel holding a shield. A sign of decadence may be found,
perhaps, in the way in which the hood-moulds of the windows intersect
with these shafts. Though the two sides of the nave are not quite of the
same date, they are almost alike, but for some slight differences in the
capitals, the arch-mouldings, and the hollows on the pillars; the
builders feeling doubtless that any marked variation would mar the
general perspective--a consideration which, of course, could not bind
them in designing the north aisle. The original Perpendicular roof may
have resembled that which now covers the transepts. About 1829 Blore put
up an almost flat ceiling of deal. The present oaken vault, by Sir
Gilbert Scott, was copied from that of the transepts of York Minster,
and is adapted to the old roof-shafts, between which have been added
angel corbels of wood. As the ribs intersect near their springing, they
weave a network over the whole vault, and the carved bosses at the
intersections amount to 107. A passing notice is merited by the pulpit,
which is Jacobean.


East of the five Perpendicular bays remains the second fragment of the
old nave, namely, a portion of a broad bay, partly encased by the later
masonry, and one complete narrow bay. In the latter the tympanum on both
sides is relieved by a quatrefoil, which here is pierced and not
enclosed in a circle, and the last shaft eastwards (one of those of the
comprising arch) runs to the ground. Affixed to the north wall is an
eighteenth century monument to Hugh Ripley, last Wakeman and first Mayor
of Ripon (d. 1637). The original monument was destroyed during the Civil
War, but the altar-like erection below the present structure was
probably part of it. The roof-shaft west of this bay, for some unknown
reason, ends considerably short of the roof in a kind of corbel with
rude foliage upon it. In the south wall is a triangular piscina, which,
if it is of Roger's date, is among the oldest piscinæ in the country.

  [Illustration: PLAN OF THE SAXON CRYPT.
   (From drawings by Mr. W. H. St. John Hope and Mr. T. Wall.)]

=The Saxon Crypt=, sometimes called =St. Wilfrid's Needle=.--From a
trap-door in the pavement below the piscina a flight of twelve steps
winds down into a flat-roofed and descending passage, 2-1/2 feet wide
and slightly over 6 feet high, which, running a few feet northwards and
bending at right angles round the south-west tower pier, extends
eastward for about 10 yards, with a descent of one step near the end,
and terminates in a blank wall. There is a square-headed niche at the
turn and a round-headed niche at the end, both meant, doubtless, to hold
lights. Three feet from the end a round-headed doorway, 2 feet wide and
over 6 feet high, opens northwards, with a descent of two more steps,
into a barrel-vaulted chamber, 11 feet 5 inches long from east to west,
7 feet 7 inches wide, and 9 feet 10 inches high. In the north wall of
this chamber, and approached by three rude steps, is the celebrated St.
Wilfrid's Needle, a round-headed aperture pierced through into a passage
that runs behind. This aperture was connected with one of those
superstitions that so often flourished before the Reformation in notable
centres of religion, and ability to pass through it or 'thread the
needle' was regarded as a test of female chastity; but it was, of
course, in the later middle ages that this superstition arose, and the
'needle' (or rather needle's eye) is evidently only one of the original
niches with the back knocked out. Of these niches (which again were
doubtless for lights) there are four in the chamber besides the
'needle,'--one in each wall,--and, like the niche, at the end of the
passage of entrance, they all have semicircular heads each cut in a
single stone. That in the west wall has a hole or cup at the bottom,
probably to hold oil in which a wick might float, while the others
(except the 'needle') have a sort of funnel at the top, doubtless to
catch the soot from lamps. In the east wall there is also a round-headed
recess of larger size, the meaning of which will be discussed later. An
excavation made in 1900 has lowered the earthen floor and revealed a
set-off running round the chamber,[59] and upon the ground at the east
end are traces of a later mediæval altar, namely, a long stone parallel
with the east wall and having behind it a small rectangular enclosure
bounded by other wrought stones. Some of the latter were only laid bare
at the above-mentioned excavation, when, moreover, the enclosure was
found to be a pit containing bones, some of which had belonged to a man,
others to an ox, others to a bird. These were probably regarded as
relics, and may have been buried here at the Reformation for safety,[60]
but it is possible that they were placed here at an earlier period, and
that this is an instance of a relic-pit. Two other deposits have been
found in the crypt in modern times, one behind the niche in the south
wall of this chamber, the other behind the niche at the end of the
passage of entrance. Most of the bones in these deposits were human, but
one had belonged to an ox, another to a bird, another to a sheep, while
others could not be identified. These bones again were probably
'relics,' and had almost certainly been built up behind the niches at
the Reformation[61] for concealment. From the west end of the chamber
another doorway similar to the last opens, with an ascent of one step,
into a second chamber, 12 feet long from north to south, 4 feet wide, 9
feet high, and roofed with a semi-vault rising eastwards, in which there
has been a square opening, probably for ventilation. At the north end a
flight of four steps, lighted doubtless from the square niche in the
west wall, ascends eastwards to the passage behind the 'needle.' Of
these steps the lowest occupies the whole width of the chamber, while
the second, on being cleaned at the time of the excavation
above-mentioned, was found to have its upper and western surfaces sunk
in the middle and traversed at one end by two parallel raised bands, and
to show traces of that yellow enamel-like substance with which, indeed,
the whole crypt seems to have been originally overlaid. In roof, width
and height the passage at the top of these steps resembles that by which
the crypt was approached, but it is spanned at the entrance by a round
arch, and gradually ascends, terminating in a staircase now blocked at
the fourth step (or perhaps the fifth, since one seems to have been
removed at the bottom), while in the roof may be traced the shape of the
long opening (rounded at the western end) through which these stairs
once led up into the church. From the point at which they are blocked
the distance to the arch that spans the passage is about 18 feet. It
will be noticed that the floor of this passage is level with the
'needle,' which on this side, moreover, has been broken through so as to
open out like a funnel.

   (St. Wilfrid's needle on the left.)]

There is little doubt that this crypt is the work of Wilfrid. It
strongly resembles another at Hexham in Northumberland, which is almost
certainly his since it agrees with a description given by his
contemporary Eddius, and (more fully) by Richard, Prior of Hexham in the
twelfth century. As, therefore, Wilfrid is known to have built a church
in either of these places, and as the crypts remaining resemble each
other, and as that at Hexham is almost certainly his, it is natural to
conclude that this at Ripon is his also.[62] And the subject has had
fresh light thrown upon it as archæology has progressed. It is thought
that the Romanizing party which prevailed at the Synod of Whitby
affected for its churches the Italian type,[63] one of the
characteristics of which was the _Confessio_, an underground chamber for
relics[64] situated under the high altar, and surrounded, except toward
the church, by a passage reached by steps from the body of the building,
whence, moreover, there were generally steps leading up to the floor of
the presbytery, and sometimes an incline stretching down to a window
that looked into the chamber below. Now the present entrance to this
crypt at Ripon is not original. To mention some of the evidences of
this, there are in the roof of the passage several tombstones (one at
the entrance and two beyond the bend) bearing incised crosses of the
thirteenth century, and 15 feet west of the doorway into the central
chamber there are signs that a cross-wall has been cut through. The only
part of the work, then, which is original is that which extends
eastwards of this point, and in Saxon times there was probably only one
entrance to the crypt, namely by the north passage; indeed, it seems
likely that the formation of an approach from the nave was
contemporaneous with the blocking of that passage, and that both
alterations were due to the incompatibility of the original disposition
of the crypt with the subsequent arrangements of the church above. Now
if that original disposition has been indicated correctly, the crypt
presented all the more important characteristics of a _confessio_. There
is the central chamber with a window looking into it (for this is the
probable explanation of the arched recess in the east wall),[65] and
there is the surrounding passage, which, however, is interrupted at the
south-west corner of the crypt in such a way that it is necessary to
pass through the chamber itself.[66] An excavation made in 1891[67]
failed to reveal any traces of a staircase at the east end of the south
passage, but as there are many instances in Italy of a _confessio_
without a second stair, this failure is of little importance. If, then,
this crypt may be assumed to be a _confessio_, there follows a very
interesting consequence. The fact that the surrounding passage was
entered from the east, that it runs round the west and not the east end
of the central chamber, and that the blocked window (if such it be) is
in the east wall of the latter, indicates that the nave lay to the
east,[68] in other words, that the presbytery was at the west end of the
church. Such a position for the high altar is ultra-Roman, was already
being discontinued in Wilfrid's day, and had probably never been seen in
the north, unless here and at Hexham; all of which considerations, in
the light of the known bias and character of Wilfrid, are in favour of
the theory above propounded.[69] It is impossible to say with certainty
whether Wilfrid's presbytery was apsidal or square; and whether his
church had aisles or not.[70]

   (By permission of the Archæological Institute.)]

There remains the question whether this crypt was or was not under the
church of the monastery. In Leland's description of Ripon,[71] "the Old
Abbay of Ripon" is certainly represented as having stood on the site
which in Leland's time was occupied by the Lady-kirk, adjacent, that is,
to the west side of the street now called St. Mary-gate;[72] and it has
been argued with great ability[73] (on the supposition that "the Old
Abbay" means the Saxon Monastery) that this crypt, though almost
certainly Wilfrid's, was under a second church outside the monastery
wall.[74] It is, however, still possible to suppose that the site in St.
Mary-gate may have been that of the domestic buildings only, and that
the monastery church stood over this crypt; or that "the Old Abbay"
means the Scottish Monastery, the site of which was also probably not
far from St. Mary-gate and may have been confused by Leland with that
afterwards occupied by the Lady-kirk. Nor in any case, perhaps, are the
mere statements of Leland a sufficient foundation for the argument that
has been constructed upon them. Indeed, an elaborate _confessio_ like
this would hardly have been made for any church other than that of the

And if, after all, Wilfrid's monastery church stood above this crypt,
there arises a very interesting probability in connection with that part
of the south passage which extends 15 feet westward from the doorway
opening into the central chamber, namely that it was the original
burial-place of Wilfrid himself, whom Bede declares to have been laid
_juxta altare ad austrum_.[75]

The position of the crypt suggests the history of the ground plan of the
Cathedral. After the destruction of Wilfrid's Church, the site of his
nave became that of the choir, and a nave was added westwards. Thus it
came about that the crypt is now in the centre of the building. The
central line or axis of the church in all stages of its history has
probably always passed over this crypt.

=The Aisles of the Nave.=--As no aisles were contemplated when the west
towers were built, the east side of the latter shows, of course, the
same external decoration as the other sides. At the back of the
surviving portions of the old nave there may be seen at the western end
of either aisle one of Archbishop Roger's buttresses, and at the eastern
end a roughened surface where another buttress has been removed. The two
buttresses that remain have a large set-off near the bottom, and they do
not diminish as they ascend; while from their upper portions, which are
visible outside the church, it would seem that they rose to the very top
of the walls. At a little over 16 feet from the ground there remains
upon them a portion of an external string-course, which is not on a
level with any of those on the exterior of the transepts. Either aisle
opens into the transept with a massive arch resembling those of the
north main arcade, and has along the foot of its wall a bench table,
from which rise the vaulting-shafts. But though preparation had been
made for stone vaulting, the roofs were of wood until the last
restoration, when Sir Gilbert Scott put up the present stone groining.
The effect is good, but would have been better had there been ridge-ribs
and bosses.


=The South Aisle= contains the font, which was probably among the latest
additions to the church before the dissolution, and formerly stood at
the west end of the nave. This font is raised upon two circular steps,
and is octagonal and of blue marble, with the various surfaces of base,
stem, and bowl slightly hollowed. The sides of the bowl and also of the
base bear shields and lozenges alternately, and upon the base the
lozenges are richly carved. In a corner hard by stands another and much
older font--probably that of Archbishop Roger's church. It is a
circular basin, adorned with an arcade of trefoil arches.[76]

   (Reduced from a rubbing.)]

Against the wall a little further eastwards is an altar-tomb of great
interest. The marble slab at the top has at one end a bas-relief
representing a grove, and in it a lion walking away from a man, who
kneels in an attitude of supplication with his back to the lion, while
between the two figures is a bird flying toward the man. Tradition says
that this is the tomb of an Irish prince who brought back from Palestine
a lion that had there become attached to him, but a story of this kind
was popular in mediæval romances,[77] and the tradition, though of some
age, is not, perhaps, very probable. It has been well suggested that the
sculpture represents deliverance from a lion in answer to prayer; but as
it is possibly only part of a larger composition, its full meaning must
still be doubtful.[78] The work is rather Flemish in character, and may
be assigned to the fourteenth century, with which date the costume of
the man agrees. Thus the slab is considerably older than the wall to
which it is now affixed, and it is doubtless older than the lower part
of the tomb itself, which may be of the same date as the aisle. There
is a black-letter inscription upon the front of the structure, but it is
unfortunately quite illegible. An entry in the Chapter Acts[79]
indicates that this tomb was used as a money-table in business
transactions between the mediæval townsmen.

The windows have their sides moulded, but somewhat clumsily. That above
the font contains the only mediæval glass in the Cathedral, a collection
of fragments chiefly of the fourteenth century. Most of these were
originally in the great window of the choir, where, being in the upper
tracery, they had escaped the violence of Sir Thomas Mauleverer's
troopers. Among the figures in the medallions are St. Peter, St. Paul,
and St. Andrew, and there is a fine shield of the arms of England, with
a border or mantling of France, and surmounted by a label of three
points azure.[80] The quality of the glass is exceedingly good, and the
window, when the sun shines through it, resembles a screen of gems, and
puts its neighbours to shame. The fourth window from the west, however,
by Clayton & Bell, is of considerable merit. The vaulting-shafts are in
clusters of three, and have overhanging bell-shaped bases with polygonal
plinths, while upon the capitals are angels bearing shields, one angel
to each cluster. The last two shields eastwards are charged respectively
with the arms of Archbishop Savage (1501-1507), and with the three stars
of St. Wilfrid. Where these shafts break the string-course under the
windows they are encircled by a thin band. Upon the eastern fragment of
the old nave there remains in this aisle another portion of Archbishop
Roger's external string-course, and also (near the last capital of the
arcade) some trace of a band of ornament.

The western end of the =North Aisle= is the Consistory Court, and has been
used as an ecclesiastical court since 1722, when Ripon was still in the
diocese of York. Over the Chancellor's seat is a modern canopy of
stained deal, which formerly surmounted the throne in the choir. The
stone base of the railings, with its many projecting angles and its band
of delicate quatrefoils, is thought to have formed part of the shrine of
St. Wilfrid, and, having been found in fragments, was placed here by
Sir Gilbert Scott. In this aisle the sides of the windows are partially
panelled. The glass is of little interest, save that in the third window
from the west, by Burlison & Grylls, and a few seventeenth century
fragments. The vaulting-shafts here are single, and are half-octagons
with their sides slightly hollowed, and they again break the
string-course, which rises to pass over the doorway. Of the shields on
their angel capitals the three easternmost are charged respectively with
the arms of Fountains Abbey[81] (three horse-shoes), with those of
Cardinal Archbishop Bainbridge (1508-1514) (supported by _two_ angels),
and with the stars of St. Wilfrid. The arch opening into the transept is
not so high as in the other aisle, and upon the space above it are
portions of a once external string-course and buttress.

=The Central Tower.=--It is from the interior of the church that the
extent of the repairs necessitated by the partial fall of the tower can
best be realized, and it is here that the documentary evidence for their
dates may best be summed up. The catastrophe itself is described in an
indulgence of 1450 by Archbishop Kemp, but the repairs had not advanced
much by 1459, for in that year a testator bequeaths money to this
object, "_cum fuerit in operando_." It would seem, however, from an
indulgence of Archbishop George Neville that the tower had been
partially repaired by 1465. After a bequest in 1466 (the last of a
series beginning in 1454), it seems to be next mentioned in the Fabric
Roll for 1541-2, and the Chapter Acts speak of the work that remained to
be done as late as 1545. The order, therefore, of the larger operations
in the Perpendicular period was probably as follows:--First the Canons
remodelled the two ruinous sides of the tower and the east side of the
south transept (where the work much resembles that in the tower), then
they rebuilt the nave,[82] then the western bays on the south side of
the choir (as the late character of the work itself would indicate),[83]
and lastly they were about to remodel the two remaining sides of the
tower when they were checked by the dissolution.


The planning of the Cathedral is remarkably irregular. Not only is the
axis of the choir, as in so many churches, inclined (here toward the
north) but the centre of the Rood Screen is south of the axis of the
nave, and the north side of the tower is not parallel to the south side,
the north-west angle being less than a right angle. This is the only
angle which remains in its original condition, and here the responds of
the two adjacent arches stand upon one circular plinth, their own bases
being, however, rectangular, though following in the upper mouldings the
forms of the shafts. The capitals of the latter are, as usual,
square-topped. The respond of the western arch has a semicircular shaft
upon the front, and a smaller shaft at the west side, where the pier is
twice recessed. The arch itself springs from the level of the top of
Archbishop Roger's triforium, is semicircular, and has more orders
toward the west than toward the east, but the mouldings (chiefly rounds)
are lacking in boldness, and the absence of a hood-mould (both in this
arch and the other) is a disadvantage. The other respond is concealed by
a huge Perpendicular casing, which, obtruding as it does into the arch,
is a very conspicuous object in the view from the west doors. Upon the
piers of this arch toward the nave are some curious brackets, which
probably supported the original rood-beam.[84]

The northern arch springs from a higher level, and is less richly
decorated than the other, and its form is almost segmental. It has more
orders toward the south than toward the north, and again the mouldings
are chiefly rounds. Its western respond has a shaft on the front, and at
the south side another, which is banded at the springing-level of the
western arch and carried up to that of the northern arch, where it ends
in a three-sided capital, upon which stands another and very short
shaft, complete with base and capital, that carries the rim of the arch
and an angle of masonry that projects from the corner. The lower portion
of this respond is cased by a rectangular addition (almost as old as the
pier itself), which has upon the front a massive detached shaft with a
circular capital, on which stands a quaint figure of King James I.,
brought from the screen of York Minster. To support an image of some
kind may, perhaps, have always been the purpose of this pillar. It has
been suggested that there is a similar projection concealed behind the
casing of the south-western pier.

Over these two arches is a bold cornice, which possibly once supported a
ceiling, and the blind storey above shows in each wall two pairs of
plain lancets with the impost-moulding continued as a string, and with a
passage behind. In the third storey, where again there is a passage, the
two windows in each wall have a third arch (also round) between them,
and alternating with these three arches are little lancets which have
been blocked as far up as the imposts, their shafts having been first
removed. A cornice supports the ceiling, and on the west side there are
also some rather inexplicable corbels.

The builders of this tower were certainly misguided in employing round
arches to support it, at a time when (as the choir shows) pointed arches
of considerable size were in common use, and it would seem that the
superior strength of the latter form was not yet fully realized. No
stronger specimens of that form are to be found, perhaps, than the
arches that support the two remaining sides. Their giant piers are
clusters of engaged cylindrical shafts with rounded hollows between, and
at each remodelled angle of the tower the two adjacent responds are
treated as one whole, presenting seven shafts almost on the same plane.
The bases, with their complex plinths and overhanging upper mouldings,
are over five feet high, and the capitals are polygonal, with small and
shallow mouldings, of which the lowest follows the form of the pier.
Slightly stilted, richly moulded, and of many orders, these arches are
so lofty as to leave no room for a blind storey above. Though the
windows here are set higher in the wall, their rear-arches reach down
nearly to the Transitional sill-level. Between the two windows in either
wall a shaft springs from an angel corbel at the string-course below the
sills, and runs up in a kind of groove, and these two shafts, with
another which springs from the junction of the two great arches, end
short of the present ceiling in semi-octagonal capitals, while on the
east wall, and at a lower level, there are more corbels. Indeed, from
the various corbels and shafts in this storey it would seem that the
level of the ceiling had been altered, possibly more than once, and
perhaps that it was destined to be altered again when the remodelling
should be complete. The present ceiling, flat and painted with good
effect, was put up by Sir Gilbert Scott.

=The Transepts.=--The length of either transept is 43 feet, and that of
both together (including the crossing) is 134 feet, or about the same
as the length of the nave. In the transepts and choir the relative
proportion of the three storeys or stages to one another, which in the
nave was so remarkable, becomes more ordinary, and the change in the
level of the triforium passage--due to the heightening of the lowest
stage to meet the exigencies of aisles--necessitates long staircases
(now blocked) behind the western piers of the tower: and the same is the
case (though in a less degree) with the clearstorey, which in this part
of the church is loftier, instead of being shorter, than the triforium.
In either transept a bench-table runs along the west wall, and the large
lower windows are plainly splayed, but have their sills stepped. The
glass in them is bad, except some seventeenth century pieces in the
window over the north door. The roof, which is of oak, and
Perpendicular, had been concealed in the time of Blore by sham Norman
vaulting constructed of _papier maché_. Sir Gilbert Scott removed this
abomination and exposed the old ceiling, which he repaired and partially
renewed. It is almost flat, is raised on wooden figure-corbels, which
prevent it from intersecting with the tower arches, and is adorned with
judicious colour.

=The North Transept=, which is 34 feet wide, or 52 feet if the 'aisle' be
included, is almost as its builders left it, and is among the most
famous examples of the architecture of the age of Henry II. and Thomas à
Becket, when the early English style was being developed from the
Norman. As the details are the same here as in all Archbishop Roger's
work, they need no further description. To take the west and north walls
first, the Perpendicular arch opening into the aisle of the nave cuts
into two blocked round arches, of which that on the right was a window,
while that on the left is backed by the old nave wall; and in this first
bay (which is narrower than the others in both this and the opposite
wall) the triforium arches are blocked up, as well as the first lancet
in the clearstorey, where there is moreover no window. Each bay shows in
the triforium two pointed arches with a pierced quatrefoil between them,
and in the clearstorey a stilted round arch, pierced and glazed, between
two smaller arches of lancet form, which on the north wall are very
curiously barred across at the impost level, the _abaci_ of two shafts
being formed by one slab.

  [Illustration: THE NORTH TRANSEPT.]

The east wall is much more richly treated, and harmonizes in design with
the choir. It might perhaps be more proper to describe the aisles of
these transepts as a series of eastern chapels. Their floor is raised
two steps above the body of the transept, from which they were evidently
once railed off, and in either transept the two outer bays are walled
off from that nearest to the tower. At any rate the arches here have the
appearance of independent units rather than of a continuous arcade.
Separated by roof-shafts of unusual bulk, their responds consist each of
three engaged shafts with a fourth to carry the aisle-vault; and the
bases, rectangular but with the upper mouldings following the pillar,
are united with those of the roof-shafts, while the capitals as usual
are square-topped. The actual arches are of two orders, each of which
has the edge-roll, while under the soffit, which is flat, is another
roll between two mouldings that are hook-shaped in section. The arch
nearest to the tower has given way slightly and has been blocked up,
apparently not very long after it was built, for in the blocking wall is
an acutely-pointed and thrice-recessed doorway of decidedly early
character, and the material throughout is gritstone. The wooden doors
are probably Perpendicular work.

Adjoining this doorway is a Perpendicular stone pulpit, which has a base
but no stem, and is ascended by means of three steps only. It has five
sides, and is covered with rich panelling, but the top has apparently
been taken off. This may not indeed be its original position,[85] yet it
was a mediæval custom to deliver the sermon just as the procession was
about to enter the choir, and this pulpit is most conveniently placed
for such a purpose. If this is not its original position, it may perhaps
be identified with a nave pulpit mentioned in the Chapter Acts.

On this east side the triforium shows in each bay a semicircular arch
comprising two pierced lancets and flanked by two blind lancets, with a
quatrefoil pierced through the tympanum under the comprising arch, an
arrangement that is the germ of tracery. Here there is no passage in the
thickness of the wall, as there was an open gallery over the aisle until
the external roof was lowered and the back of the arches blocked.

In the clearstorey the shafts of the round arch in each bay are doubled,
each couple sharing a common plinth and capital, from which latter
springs a tiny shaft that carries the edge-roll of the arch; and the
lancet arches also, where they adjoin the solid piers between the bays,
have a shaft in the jamb. On all three walls the shafts in this storey
stand on a kind of kerb or parapet, which is interrupted in the middle
of each bay, and the stilt of the round arch is treated almost like a
classical entablature, and has a moulding or cornice above it, while the
uppermost part of the wall is thickened, thereby necessitating over each
bay a comprising arch, which on the north wall is round, but on the
other walls follows the shape of the three sub-arches, and forms a kind
of upper order to them.

The roof-shafts, which do not break the string-courses, spring from very
various levels: on the east side from the ground, and on the north side
from the unusually high level of the second string, while on the west
side one cluster rises from the first string and the other from above
the second string (having perhaps been shortened in the last case to
make way for the Perpendicular arch beneath). On the east and west walls
these shafts are of a thickness which, besides being out of proportion
to the other parts of the architecture, is structurally unnecessary, for
they do not directly support the roof at all, but end at the top of the
triforium in triple capitals, of which the central member is square and
the others round. Upon each of these capitals, stand three detached and
much thinner shafts--namely, that which really carried the roof-beams,
and those (adjacent to it) of the arches that carry the above-mentioned
thickening of the wall. Thus is afforded a striking instance of the
tendency, so often exemplified in Archbishop Roger's work, to use two
shafts, one on the top of the other, instead of prolonging one--a
tendency which marks the organic development of the style as still
incomplete. On the north wall the three shafts in each cluster are
carried up from their corbel to the top in one piece, unbroken save by a
band at the impost level of the triforium and another at the third
string, and they seem detached throughout their height both from the
wall and from each other. At each corner of the transept the thickening
of the wall over the clearstorey arcade is carried by a shaft which
rises from the bench-table or the ground.

The roof is entirely modern, and the shields on its corbels bear the
arms of the chief promoters of the last restoration.

Against the north wall is a fifteenth century altar-tomb, covered with
inferior panelling and shields of arms, and surmounted by the figures of
Sir Thomas and Lady (Eleanor) Markenfield; and adjoining this tomb
(which formerly stood within the aisle) is the lid of a thirteenth
century stone coffin on the floor. In the aisle stands another
altar-tomb, which has the sides panelled and adorned with shields of
arms and bears the figure of an earlier Sir Thomas Markenfield, clad in
armour of the period between Poitiers and Agincourt, and wearing a very
curious collar of park palings with a stag couchant in front, possibly
(as has been suggested) a badge of adherence to the party of Lancaster.
The figure of Lady Markenfield has, unfortunately, been destroyed.[86]

The aisle is often called the Markenfield Chapel, and doubtless
contained the Markenfield family chantry, which seems to have become
afterwards merged in another foundation.[87] The two bays were
apparently once walled off from each other, the dividing wall having
perhaps been removed to make way for this Markenfield tomb. At any rate,
between the bays of the vaulting there is a plain cross-arch of
remarkable thickness, whose eastern respond is cut off above the tomb,
as are also the two adjacent vaulting-shafts, which have had heads
carved upon their ends. The south wall is probably original, since (to
mention one reason) part of the string-course upon it is worked on the
same stone with the vaulting-shaft. The lower parts of the walls display
traces of a design in red representing round arches interlaced. In the
north wall there is a square aumbry, and in the south wall a large
piscina, with trefoil head and projecting basin. If this piscina is
original, it is a very fine specimen for so early a date. A huge
eighteenth century monument to Sir Edward Blacket of Newby almost covers
the southernmost window, but the remaining two contain glass of some
merit, which in that facing east commemorates the recovery from fever of
King Edward VII., then Prince of Wales. The vaulting springs from single
cylindrical shafts, which rise from the ground and do not interrupt the
string-course. Their bases have three-sided plinths, and their capitals
are enriched with stiff foliage and are three-sided above.

The vaulting, which is apparently original, deserves especial notice.
Its bays are square, and the groin ribs consist each of three round
mouldings, of which the most prominent is 'keeled';[88] but what is most
remarkable is that there are also ridge-ribs, which are not usually
found before the thirteenth century, and it has been suggested[89] that
this is the earliest instance of their employment. There are also
wall-ribs, and these and the ridge-ribs are much thinner than the
groin-ribs, and consist of a single roll only.


=The South Transept= is narrower than the other by a yard, its width being
49 feet to the aisle wall (which, it should be noticed, has not been
rebuilt). Without the aisle the width is only 30 feet, but this is
partly due to the Perpendicular alterations. The end and west side of
this transept, which remain more or less as they were in Archbishop
Roger's day, resemble the corresponding walls of the other, yet with the
following differences. The roof-shafts on the west side are thinner here
than there, and are carried up to the required height in one piece,
unbroken save by the string-courses.

In connection with the attachment of shafts of any considerable height
to wall-surfaces in Archbishop Roger's work, it will be observed that
though the shafts (according to the general practice of masonry) are
usually made in short joints built in at the back, yet (as here) their
jointing sometimes does not harmonize with the coursing of the wall;
again (as in the old nave and north transept) the shafts of a cluster
are sometimes not worked all on the same stones.

To return to the differences of this transept from the other, the
roof-shafts over the inserted Perpendicular arch (which here obtrudes
into the triforium) descend no lower than the sill of the clearstorey.
Again, the thickening of the walls at the top is supported in the
south-west angle not by one shaft but by two, one of which stands on a
projecting strip of masonry that runs up the angle to the triforium. The
design of the eighteenth century monument against the south wall, to Mr.
Weddell of Newby, is taken from that of the choragic monument of
Lysicrates at Athens.

On the east side, which has been entirely remodelled in the
Perpendicular period, the bay next to the tower displays from the ground
to the triforium a plain surface broken only by a pointed doorway
surmounted by three cinquefoiled niches with ogee crocketed hoods. The
doorway retains its original doors with an ornamental iron scutcheon
over the keyhole. In their great strength, and in their treatment
generally, the two arches opening into the aisle resemble the
Perpendicular arches of the central tower. The triforium stage is
exceedingly poor, and shows traces of more or less modern disfigurement.
Each bay contains a single arch which does not occupy the whole space,
and which is surmounted by a hood-mould and divided into two sub-arches,
but without cusps. Here again the arches were once pierced through to a
gallery over the aisle, as the exterior of the wall plainly shows; and
this seems to indicate either that the external roof had not been
lowered when these Perpendicular repairs took place, or that possibly
the two lower storeys of Archbishop Roger's wall were left standing, and
have been, not rebuilt, but cased. The appearance of the wall externally
suggests that these arches may have once been round, and the unusual
bulk of the two aisle-arches seems further to support the theory of a
'casing.' In the clearstorey the windows have hood-moulds, but otherwise
are treated much as in the nave. The southernmost contains a fragment of
old glass, bearing the words 'Jhesu mercy.' Along the sill of the
passage may be seen the stumps of uprights which may perhaps have
supported a rail. The roof-shafts are clustered and extremely thick, and
appear the more awkward in that the wall and the shafts with it are set
back at the base of the triforium. In this transept the ceiling is old,
and among the heraldic devices carved upon it are those of the church
itself, St. Wilfrid, the See of York, the Pigotts, the Nortons, and
Fountains Abbey.

The aisle, the walls of which have not been rebuilt, and which has a
chequered pavement of uncertain date, was for some centuries the
burial-place of the owners of Studley Royal, and is often called the
Mallory Chapel. A curious recess in the south wall is concealed by the
monument of John Aislabie of Studley, Chancellor of the Exchequer at the
time of the South Sea Bubble, and against the north wall is a monument
to that Sir John Mallory of Studley who defended Skipton Castle for
Charles I., and delivered Ripon from Sir Thomas Mauleverer. There is a
square aumbry to the right of this monument, and in the next bay
another, divided by a stone shelf and having modern doors with
ornamental iron-work. The northern bay is almost wholly occupied by a
stone staircase leading up to two doors, one of which opens on the left
into a chamber now containing the bellows of the organ, while the other
opens into the Lady-loft or Library. Over the latter door and over the
Mallory monument will be observed traces of two original windows, which,
before the erection of the Lady-loft, admitted doubtless whatever light
was not blocked out by the old roof of the Chapter-house. On this wall
hangs a royal escutcheon bearing the motto of James I. The vaulting is
Perpendicular, but two of the original supports remain on the east side.
The shaft in the south-east corner resembles those in the Markenfield
Chapel, save that its capital has no foliage; but between the two bays,
instead of two shafts flanking the respond of a thick cross-arch, there
is a cluster of three detached shafts, banded at the string-course, and
sharing a common capital with a semi-octagonal top. It would seem,
therefore, that the two bays here were never walled off from one
another.[90] At the north-east corner the vaulting springs from a
Perpendicular corbel. Its moulded ribs are exceedingly ponderous, and
one of them, not having room to descend upon the pillar, is finished off
with a head. The present Library staircase was put up by Sir Gilbert
Scott in place of an older flight attached to the north wall, and upon
the latter may be seen (behind the stairs) traces of mural paintings in
red and green, representing the Adoration of the Magi and other
subjects. The archaic character of these paintings indicates the age of
the wall, which, nevertheless (unlike the corresponding wall in the
Markenfield Chapel), seems to have been an afterthought, since it
differs from the other walls in the coursing of the stone and in the
pattern of the string-course, and, moreover, at its northern end there
is a 'straight joint,' visible in the choir-aisle.

=The Rood Screen=, according to Sir Gilbert Scott, is of a date a few
years earlier than 1494, but, if so, it has taken the place of another,
which is mentioned in the Fabric Rolls as early as 1408.[91] The general
design is that of an arched doorway with four large niches on either
side, and a tier of twenty-four small niches over all. The doorway,
which retains its original panelled doors, has three shafts in either
jamb, and is surmounted by a crocketed ogee hood, under which is a
sculpture representing the First Person of the Trinity with attendant
angels. A figure of the Saviour evidently once rested, as Walbran
noticed, upon the knees of the central Figure; above whose head or
shoulder, moreover, there was doubtless once a representation of the
Holy Dove. The niches again have crocketed ogee hoods, and in the lower
tier contain pedestals bearing shields charged with the arms of the
Pigotts and other benefactors, while the sill of the last at either end
of this tier is considerably raised, and the space below panelled. The
niches contain ribbed vaults, and are cinquefoil, with feathered
cusping, and their hoods are prolonged so as to divide the members of
the upper tier into pairs; while from the sides of these hoods, from the
buttresses, and from the curve of the doorway, thin strips of stone,
adorned with knobs that distinctly add to the effect, are carried up to
the cornice, along which runs a row of shields bearing traces of colour.
In the lower part of the screen the spaces between the strips and under
the hoods are filled with tracery. The screen is 12 feet thick, and in
the passage through it are two doors, that on the right opening into a
winding staircase to the loft above, and that on the left into a deep
pit, which once communicated, it is thought, with the north passage of
the Saxon crypt.

  [Illustration: THE ROOD SCREEN.]

=The Choir.=--The choir extends 92 feet eastward from the screen. Its
width is 33 feet between the columns, or 68 feet if the aisles be
included. A notable peculiarity in it is, that after the lowering of the
aisle-roofs externally, the triforium was glazed, so that there are two
tiers of windows above the main arches.[92] Many styles meet here. The
first three bays on the north side are Archbishop Roger's work, while
the three opposite are Perpendicular, and lastly, the three easternmost
bays on either side are chiefly Decorated.

To begin with the north side. The arch in the first bay has been built
up, probably to strengthen the tower, and by the twelfth-century
builders themselves, for the abacus-moulding of the capital is continued
across the blocking wall. In the latter the fifteenth-century builders
have made a small pointed doorway, which is now blocked but apparently
once gave access from the top of the screen to a staircase in the north
aisle. This and the two next bays bear in all three stages a general
resemblance to the east side of the north transept. The columns,
however, are clusters of eight cylindrical shafts, and stand upon
circular plinths, the base proper following, of course, the form of the
pillar. The capitals, as usual, are compound and composed of plain
inverted bells, and have square tops with the abacus hollowed and
grooved. The arches differ from those in the transept only in that the
large moulding under the soffit is 'keeled,' and that the mouldings
which flank it are simple ridges. In the triforium the cusps visible in
the glazed sub-arches belong to some tracery which has been applied to
the back at a later period.

  [Illustration: THE GREAT EAST WINDOW.]

The treatment of the vaulting-shafts is very remarkable; indeed, nothing
is more instructive than the variety shown in the treatment of this
feature throughout Archbishop Roger's church, the different parts of
which are suggestive of nothing so much as of a series of architectural
experiments. Here, upon the capital of each column, rests a sort of
compound rectangular plinth, from which project three corbels, hollowed
underneath and having little blocks beneath their overhanging edge. From
this plinth and corbels springs a cluster of no less than five shafts,
which, by their united width, conceal the springing of the upper order
of the main arches. They are banded at the string-course below the
triforium, and end at the sill of the clearstorey in a compound capital,
of which the three central members are square, and the others round.
Upon this capital, apparently, stand the two adjoining shafts that carry
the thickening of the wall above the clearstorey, and here (but hidden
by the vaulting) stands also the original roof-shaft, and these three
are 'detached.' Thus the arrangement is in principle similar to that
adopted in the north transept, while at the same time the clustered
shafts are even more disproportionate here than there to the slight
burden they have to carry; indeed the effect is that of five shafts
diminishing to one. The vaulting hides a feature which is not found in
the transept, namely, a little lancet arch whose apex comes exactly
behind the roof-shaft in each bay.

   (From a drawing by Sir G. G. Scott, by permission of the Archæological


Though the three eastern bays (still on the north side) are chiefly
Decorated, portions of Archbishop Roger's work have been retained or
used again. Thus the fourth column from the west is his, and perhaps the
fifth up to the abacus, which is convex and of limestone. The respond
against the east wall is of his pattern, but it has not the circular
plinth, and the capital is of limestone, has the abacus moulded with
rounds upon the edge, and is covered with delicate foliage in the
Decorated manner. In these arches the lower order has exactly the same
mouldings as in the western bays, and is of gritstone, while the upper
order is of limestone, and has fillets upon the larger mouldings. It
would seem, therefore, that the later builders have used the original
archivolts again, and have merely added another order or orders over it.
The plane of the wall above, indeed, is brought forward to the face of
Archbishop Roger's vaulting-shafts: yet without being really thickened,
since it is set back from his wall on the exterior. At the junction of
the old vaulting-shafts with the additional order of the first Decorated
arch the later builders have carved a group of grotesque faces. In each
bay of the Decorated triforium there is a round arch filled with tracery
consisting of three round-headed and trefoil lights with two circles
enclosing trefoils above them; and on either side of this arch (but on
one three only, in the first of the side bays) is a sunk lancet panel
enclosing a pointed arch impaling a trefoil. The clearstorey has a
second plane of tracery, a feature not very common in England. The
vaulting-shafts are in clusters of three and are filleted, and the
string-course below the triforium is not carried round them. Each
cluster springs from a semicircular corbel resting on a head, and has
its capitals enriched with foliage. The last pendentive of the vaulting
rests on a single shaft springing directly from a head-corbel. The
string-courses are not of the same pattern with those on the older bays.

   (Junction of Transitional and Decorated work.)]

On the south side the westernmost Perpendicular bay, up to the
triforium, is solid and covered with cinquefoil panelling. In the next
two bays the mouldings of the arch, among which a broad hollow is
conspicuous, are continued down the column, and there is no capital--a
sign of decadence more common in the Flamboyant work of the Continent
than here. There is, however, a debased half-capital on the east side of
the last Perpendicular column, and on the west side of it are three
small heads at the impost-level. These columns are lozenge-shaped in
section, wider from north to south than from east to west, and though
the mouldings end before they reach the bottom of the column, there is
no proper base. Each column has a shaft at the front and another at the
back, the former carrying the rim of the arch and having a stilted
polygonal base but no capital, while the latter has capital as well as
base (both polygonal), and helps to carry the aisle-vault. The spandrels
of these arches are filled with panelling, in which are several shields
(one bearing the arms of Pigott). The triforium again shows in each bay
a round arch; indeed, no better example than this choir could be found
of the truth that the form of the arch is not a safe guide to the date
of a building, but was often dictated by convenience; for here in the
triforium are round arches, of which some belong to the twelfth, others
to the thirteenth, and others to the sixteenth century. The fact that
the distance between the string-courses was already settled by the
Transitional bays, compelled the later builders to make their arches
round, as a pointed arch of the requisite width would have been too
tall. Here the round arch, which is again flanked by two panels,
comprises three cinquefoil lights, and the mullions are carried up
through the head. The panels are pointed and divided each into two
cinquefoil divisions. The Perpendicular clearstorey windows have their
rims moulded, but are not splayed. The vaulting-shafts resemble those in
the Decorated bays, but their corbels are polygonal and have the sides
slightly hollowed, and the abacus of the capital is a half-lozenge. The
string-courses have not been made to match either the Transitional or
the Decorated. The whole of this Perpendicular work is of very late
character, and justifies the belief that it was the last important
alteration in the fabric before the dissolution. Moreover, where it
meets the tower there seems to be a 'straight joint,' which indicates
that these bays are at any rate later than the tower piers.

East of the Perpendicular pillars the next column is Archbishop
Roger's, and perhaps the next also, with the exception of its capital,
which has two rings upon the necking, with the rectangular top imposed
directly upon them and chamfered beneath, while the abacus (which is of
limestone) is convex.[93] The respond against the east wall is again of
the old pattern, but without the circular plinth, and its capital
resembles that just described. In the westernmost of these southern
Decorated bays three styles meet. The lower order of the arch seems
again to be Transitional work, while in the triforium and clearstorey
Decorated arches have been filled with Perpendicular tracery. In the two
remaining bays the main arches are entirely Decorated, the lower order
being of limestone and the large moulding under the soffit having a
fillet. Over the last two complete columns there is a little foliage,
and of the corbels of the vaulting-shafts one is enriched with foliage
while the other consists of a head between two embracing figures. There
is foliage upon the capitals of these vaulting-shafts, and upon the
capital and base of that which supports the last pendentive of the
vaulting. With the exceptions mentioned, these bays resemble those

It has been remarked that the choir was probably as long in the twelfth
century as it is now. The point is indeed proved if (as there seems no
reason to doubt) the last complete column on either side is original and
occupies its original position; but a further indication is to be found
in the fact that the fragment of the original south wall, the end of
which is visible on the exterior between the south aisle and the apse,
extends well into the last bay of the present choir.[94]

The huge east window, which is not splayed, has a deep rear-vault
bounded by a massive rib, whose outer edge rests on slender engaged
shafts with foliage on their capitals, while the inner edge ends in
bunches of foliage. Between this rib and the tracery is another rib
springing on the north side from a bunch of foliage and on the south
from a grotesque corbel. The inner arch has slender shafts, and so has
the moulding next to the tracery, but in the latter case the capitals
are plain.[95] Few acts of vandalism are more to be regretted,
probably, than the destruction in 1643 of the magnificent fourteenth
century glass which once occupied this window. The present very poor
glass, by Wailes of Newcastle, commemorates the revival of the see of
Ripon in 1863.

  [Illustration: A Bishop and a King.]

  [Illustration: The Expulsion from Paradise.

Over the window may be seen the mark of one of the earlier roofs. The
choir is thought to have received a groined vault of oak after the
rebuilding of the east end, but this vault was probably renewed more
than once, especially after the accident to the tower about 1450, and
the fall of the spire in 1660. Sir Gilbert Scott found a vault of lath
and plaster (probably the work of Blore) for which he substituted the
present roof, a groined wooden vault, admirable in its lofty pitch and
judicious colouring. Its chief feature, however, is the splendid bosses
along the ridge, which are survivals from either the Decorated or a
subsequent Perpendicular vault. In some of these bosses the figures are
five feet long.

     From west to east the subjects are as follows: (1) A head; (2) an
     angel, with foliage; (3) a head; (4) a man conducting a woman to a
     church door; (5) a bishop in benediction; (6) a king enthroned; (7)
     a bishop enthroned; (8) a king and a bishop enthroned together; (9)
     the Crucifixion (modern); (10) the Annunciation; (11) the expulsion
     from Paradise; (12)? the good Samaritan; (13) a head.

There are also good foliage bosses against the walls between the
pendentives. The westernmost pendentive on either side rests on a
Perpendicular corbel carved with delicate foliage.

The general arrangements of the presbytery have been much changed since
the middle ages. The altar then stood against a screen one bay in
advance of its present position, and the iron hooks upon the second
complete column from the east end on either side held, it is supposed,
the Lenten Veil. Before the last restoration the altar stood, as now,
against the east wall (on a single step, however), but the Sanctuary
still extended two bays westward and was three steps above the rest of
the choir, which was all on one level. Since then the floor has been
raised one step at the east end of the stalls, and the steps to the
Sanctuary have been diminished by one, while there are now two steps to
the altar, and the Sanctuary and the raised portion of the choir have
received an inlaid marble pavement. The reredos, an arcading of slender
arches each enclosing a trefoiled arch impaling a trefoil, is a
restoration of the original Decorated work. The latter had been covered
by a painted screen of wood--possibly of late mediæval workmanship--and
this again by a huge oil-painting of the time of Charles II. Both were
removed to make way for a high reredos by Blore, which in its turn was
taken down by Sir Gilbert Scott.[96] On the pavement south of the altar
is a piscina, which (if this be its original position) must have
belonged to a chapel or chantry behind the high altar--possibly the
chantry of the Holy Trinity _subtus altare_.[97] From its position it
would seem that in those days the floor here was considerably lower than
it is now.

  [Illustration: THE SEDILIA.]

=The Sedilia.=--The last bay on the south side is now occupied by three
sedilia and a piscina, which form one block. As might be expected from
the mediæval position of the altar, they once stood in the second bay
from the east, and they were not removed to their present position until
the last restoration. Sir Gilbert Scott considered them late Decorated
work, but they have rather the appearance of late Perpendicular. Over
each seat is an ogee canopy, cinquefoil, crocketed, and surmounted by
a huge finial. These canopies rest on square pillars, the sides of which
are adorned with a sort of 'four-leaved flowers,' while the capitals are
encircled with foliage in which are animals and monsters. Each pillar is
surmounted by a pinnacle, and behind each canopy rises a crocketed
gable, again crowned by a huge finial. The gables, the pinnacles, and
the tops of the canopies are the work of Sir Gilbert Scott, who found
the sedilia in a mutilated condition. Below the seats and the piscina
runs a chamfer with 'four-leaved flowers' along it, and below this are
panels enclosing trefoils containing faces. But the most curious feature
of these sedilia is not perceived until a glance is given beneath the
canopies. The carved ends of the cusps are in reality the heads of
extraordinary grotesques whose bodies are curled up against the under
surface of the arch. Some of these figures, in addition to their proper
physiognomy, have faces carved on the crowns of their heads. The
piscina, which has been converted into a credence table, has another
ogee canopy, and is backed by a wall, along the top of which runs a band
of foliage that is continued round the top of a square pillar at the end
of the block.

The fine oak chairs in the Sanctuary are of modern construction but of
old material, while the rails, lectern and pulpit are all modern.[98]

In the four easternmost bays the choir is separated from its aisles
(except where the sedilia already block one arch) by elaborate oak
screens of various designs, in the upper part of which the tracery is
largely pendant--an arrangement characteristic of Yorkshire. These
screens have been restored, but contain much of the old work, most of
which is probably of the same date with the stalls.[99] Until the last
restoration they were surmounted by seventeenth century galleries in the
so-called Jacobean style.


=The Stalls=--thirteen on either side and eight returned against the Rood
Screen--are exquisite specimens of fifteenth century woodwork. They are
surmounted by lofty canopies of elaborate tabernacle-work supported on
slender shafts and rising into a forest of crocketed spirelets and
pinnacles. There are ribbed vaults under the canopies, and upon the
pendants in front are hovering angels. The canopies on the south side
were wrecked by the fall of the spire in 1660, and those over the eight
easternmost stalls were then reconstructed in the 'Jacobean' style with
a gallery above, while of the canopies now over the other nine, eight
are said to have been brought across from the eastern end of the north
range, where more Jacobean canopies were erected in their place. Sir
Gilbert Scott removed all this seventeenth century work and set up
reproductions of the fifteenth century design. Thus the eight
easternmost canopies on either side are modern. The misereres and arms
of the stalls are exquisitely carved.

  [Illustration: Jonah emerging from the whale.
   Pelican feeding her young.

     The subjects upon the former are as follows, beginning from the
     archway in the screen:--

     _North side_:--(1) (CANON IN RESIDENCE) lion attacked by dogs; (2)
     dragon attacked by dogs; (3) angel with shield; (4) dragon and
     birds; (5) hart's-tongue ferns; (6) conventional flowers; (7) ape
     attacked by lion; (8) vine; (9) birds pecking fruit; (10)
     antelopes; (11) fox preaching to goose and cock; (12) fox running
     off with geese; (13) fox caught by dogs; (14) dragons fighting;
     (15) fruit and flowers issuing from inverted head; (16) man holding
     club with oak leaves and acorns; (17) (MAYOR'S STALL) griffin
     catching rabbit.

     _South side_:--(1) (DEAN) angel with book; (2) angel with shield
     bearing date 1489; (3) lion _versus_ griffin; (4) griffin devouring
     human leg; (5) owl; (6) mermaid with mirror and hair-brush; (7) two
     pigs dancing to bagpipe played by a third; (8) Jonah thrown to the
     whale; (9) man wheeling another who holds a reed and a bag; (10)
     fox caught carrying off goose by dog and by woman with distaff;
     (11) winged animal; (12) hart, gorged and chained; (13) pelican
     feeding young; (14) Jonah emerging from the whale; (15) Samson
     carrying the gates; (16) head (modern)[100]; (17) (BISHOP'S THRONE)
     Caleb and Joshua carrying the grapes and watched by Anakim.

  [Illustration: DESK-END OF MAYOR'S STALL.]

Most of these misereres have exquisite conventional flowers (especially
roses) cut upon them in addition to the figure-subjects. The desks in
front of the stalls have rich finials, and their panelled fronts form
the backs of a lower tier of seats, the arms of which are supported each
on a square shaft set diamondwise. In front of these lower seats the
desks again have carved finials and panelled fronts, and on those
parallel with the Rood Screen the tracery is distinctly Flamboyant. The
finial before the stall of the Canon in Residence has a griffin attached
to it, and that in front of the Dean's stall a lion. Before both these
stalls the ends of the two tiers of desks are richly carved. The
Bishop's throne and Mayor's stall have each a canopied niche on the
exterior toward the east,[101] and two small apertures in the east side
to enable the occupant to see the altar, and in front of these two
stalls the ends of the two tiers of desks are again richly carved. The
Mayor's stall, which is wider than the others, was probably that of the
Wakeman, and attached to the finial in front is a grotesque ape, beneath
which the supporting shaft is of open work. The end of this desk
displays a shield charged with two keys in saltire, for the see of York.


The Bishop's throne was originally occupied by the Archbishops of York.
The Jacobean canopy, which succeeded that of the fifteenth century,
comprised the space of two stalls, as did also the modern structure by
which it was itself succeeded and which is now in the Consistory Court.
The present canopy resembles those of the other stalls but is higher and
more elaborate. Upon the back of the throne inside is a small mitre. The
finial in front consists of an elephant carrying a man in his trunk, and
bearing on his back a castle filled with armed soldiery, and in front of
the elephant is a centaur (renewed), the shaft under which is again of
open-work. The end of this desk displays a large mitre above a shield
charged with the three stars of St. Wilfrid and supported by two angels,
between whom is a scroll with the date 1494.

  [Illustration: THE WEST END OF THE CHOIR.]

=The Organ= occupied the top of the Rood Screen as early as 1408; but
doubtless all traces of the mediæval instrument disappeared at the
Reformation or in the Civil War. During the ascendancy of the Puritans
organ-building became a lost art, and at the Restoration it had to be
revived by foreigners, one of whom, Gerard Schmidt, nephew of 'Father
Schmidt,' built an organ for Ripon. This instrument was remodelled in
1833 by Booth of Leeds, and about 1878 the organ was rebuilt by T. C.
Lewis of Brixton, so that very little of Schmidt's work now remains. The
present case was designed by Sir Gilbert Scott. Over the doorway in the
screen is a projecting wooden gallery, in good imitation of the
Perpendicular manner. This gallery, which dates probably from the time
of Schmidt, was occupied until comparatively recently by the organist.
From the front of it projects a well-carved hand, which, worked by a
pedal, could be made to beat time--a very interesting piece of
mechanism, which again probably dates from the time of Schmidt.

  [Illustration: THE NORTH CHOIR AISLE.]

=The North Choir Aisle.=--The floor of the choir is now a step above that
of the aisles, and it may be further remarked that in both of them the
first bay is somewhat dark, being walled up on three sides; that in the
second bay the archway toward the choir is occupied by organ-pipes; that
a bench table runs along the side wall and the east end, and that the
latter portion is adorned with panelling of the same design with the

In the north aisle the first three bays and a portion of the fourth are
Archbishop Roger's work, with the exception of the windows. The most
notable feature, as usual, is the vaulting-shafts, which spring from
above the string-course, and are in clusters of three. In each cluster
the central shaft is even thicker than the others, and the capitals,
which are carved with foliage of Norman character, share a common
five-sided abacus, while the bases are circular and rest on radiating
brackets smaller than themselves. These brackets, which are said to be
unique, have square corners and are moulded, but only on the front, and
their receding portion consists of a concave moulding containing a
convex block. In the north-west corner there is but a single shaft,
which rises from the bench-table, is banded at the string-course, and
has a square-topped capital. The vaulting has wall-ribs,
cross-springers, and groin-ribs, and is rather high-pitched. Upon the
cross-springers the mouldings are a large keeled round having on either
side a hollow between fillets, while the groin-ribs are moulded as in
the Markenfield Chapel. In the westernmost bay the vault has shown signs
of weakness (like so many other parts of the building adjacent to the
ill-fated tower) and has been strengthened by a cross-arch with a
half-arch abutting against it on the west side, both springing from
corbels. The corbels are quite in Archbishop Roger's manner, and
indicate that these strengthening arches, and therefore the blocking
walls from which they spring, are of his period. Moreover, the abacus
moulding of the first choir capital is continued as a string to the
shaft (which it encircles) in the north-west corner. This string is
interrupted by a rather inexplicable round arch in the west wall, and
has also been broken by the obtrusion of the Perpendicular tower-pier,
and by the blocked doorway which once opened from the Rood Screen. Below
this doorway (adjoining which there is a recess in the obtruding masonry
of the tower-pier) the wall shows traces of a gallery or staircase. On
the north wall the string-course, which is rather undercut, is original
as far as the end of the fourth bay, and marks the level to which the
sills of the original windows descended in steps.[102] In the present
windows, which descend to the old level, the mouldings of the arch are
stopped upon a set-off and the jamb is left plain.


In the two easternmost bays the Decorated string-course is of a
different pattern and at a slightly higher level; and here the jambs of
the windows are moulded with a hollow continued from the arch; while the
rim of the latter has upon it a large filleted round flanked by hollows
and supported on shafts with polygonal plinths and circular bases and
capitals, the latter enriched with foliage. The east window, however, is
not splayed, and has a deep rear-vault and a flat sill, while its rim is
more elaborately moulded and there are shafts to the inner as well as to
the outer arch. Except in the two easternmost windows on the north side,
the glass is very poor. The Decorated vaulting-shafts are again in
clusters of three, but rise from the bench-table and break the
string-course. They have polygonal plinths, and their capitals are
adorned with rather ill-cut foliage. In the north-east corner there is a
single shaft having a fillet, and adjoining it is a round-headed
doorway, which once opened into the angle staircase. In this aisle the
panelling is carried two bays westwards.

It should be noticed that toward the aisle the choir arches have one
more order in the three Decorated bays than they have in the rest. In
the Decorated vaulting several chamfers are introduced among the
mouldings of the cross-springers, and both in these and in the
groin-ribs the most prominent moulding has a fillet. Otherwise the roof
roughly matches that of the older bays. The older and the later period
meet in the fourth bay from the west, where two of the groin-ribs have
the fillet, while the other two are without it. In the two easternmost
bays there are fine bosses at the crown of the vault.

It is thought that the Shrine of St. Wilfrid was in the east end of this
aisle.[103] Unfortunately Leland's words _S. Wilfridi reliquiae sub arcu
prope magnum altare sepultae_ are too vague to decide its exact

=The South Choir Aisle.=--This aisle, in some respects, has been altered
more than the other, but the south wall is Archbishop Roger's work as
far as the end of the fourth bay, if not farther. About 14 feet from the
west end occurs that 'straight joint' in the masonry which shows the
separation of this aisle from the Mallory Chapel to have been an
afterthought; and a little further east a round-headed doorway, moulded
with the edge-roll and retaining a panelled door of some age, opens into
the Chapter-house. There was evidently a second and similar doorway a
few yards further on, but it has been blocked (doubtless when the
cross-wall was built at the back of it between the Chapter-house and
vestry), and a square-headed doorway has been made to open into the
latter. To the right of this entrance is a square-headed lavatory with a
projecting rectangular basin and a hole knocked through into the lobby
behind. This lavatory is of course an insertion, probably of the
fifteenth century; indeed the whole of this part of the wall has been
much repaired with limestone. The aisle is somewhat darkened by the fact
that its first four windows look into the Lady-loft. Fortunately the
three westernmost are original. They are as usual round-headed and
plainly splayed, and their sills descend to the string-course in steps.
Archbishop Roger's vaulting-shafts here are in better preservation than
in the other aisle. The original vaulting itself must of course have
been taken down when the three westernmost columns of the choir-arcade
were rebuilt, but in the reconstruction the old ribs seem to have been
used again. The groin-ribs have no room to descend upon the
Perpendicular choir-capitals, and end prematurely upon corbels carved
into faces.

The westernmost bay of the aisle has been divided into two storeys, the
upper of which now contains part of the mechanism of the organ, but is
thought to have been once a chantry chapel. This curious chamber is
reached through a pointed doorway at the top of the Library staircase in
the south transept. Its roof is of course formed by the aisle-vault,
which originally extended, doubtless, as far westwards in this aisle as
in the other. The space, however, has been shortened by the great
thickness of a Perpendicular cross-arch, which, though its southern
respond obtrudes into the aisle below, is itself only visible from this
chamber. When, therefore, the vaulting here was rebuilt, it had to be
adapted to the shortened space, and the groin-ribs, which are very much
of Archbishop Roger's pattern, spring from Perpendicular corbels carved
into faces. The wall which separates this bay of the aisle from the
choir was said above, quite truly, to be Perpendicular, but on this its
southern face the masonry is apparently Archbishop Roger's. It is of
gritstone, and behind the organ-bellows there remains a corbel like
those of the cross-arch that props the vaulting in the corresponding bay
of the north aisle. The presumption therefore is that the original
vaulting was similarly propped here, and that the wall on which this
corbel remains was built to block or strengthen the first choir-arch,
and has survived the arch itself. To the west of the door a small square
window looks into the Mallory Chapel.

In its eastern portion this aisle resembles the other, but the
bench-table here is only carried two bays westward, and the panelling
only one bay. In the fifth bay from the west the window is shortened to
about half the length of the others, and the string-course (which is of
Archbishop Roger's pattern) is correspondingly raised, possibly because
a longer window would have come below the springing of the vestry roof
(in the period when there was no Lady-loft), or possibly (though this is
less likely) to make room for the monument underneath, which, though
placed here by Sir Gilbert Scott, who found it in pieces, may have
occupied this position before. The monument is that of Moses Fowler,
first Dean of Ripon (d. 1608), and the effigy is not a favourable
example of English sculpture in the seventeenth century. Of the stained
glass, that in the last window on the south side is of some merit. The
capitals of the Decorated vaulting-shafts are better executed in this
aisle than in the other. Here, as there, the Decorated vaulting begins
in the middle of the fourth bay, where the fillet is again found upon
the two eastern groins only. At the south-east corner of this aisle are
the remains of a piscina--a fragment of a basin resting on a
shaft--which probably belonged to one of the many chantries. The
staircase at this corner affords the best access to the turret cell
described in the last chapter, and to the attic over the choir, where
the framing of the roof is a very remarkable specimen of modern joinery.

On account of the alterations that have taken place at different periods
in the part of the Cathedral south of the choir, it will be well to
examine the crypt under the Chapter-house before examining either the
latter itself or the Library.

=The Norman Crypt.=--A round-headed doorway in the west wall of the
Chapter-house admits to a staircase which, roofed with a sloping
barrel-vault and descending southwards, turns eastwards, under another
round arch, into the crypt. The age of this staircase is uncertain, but
its west wall is of course the east wall of Archbishop Roger's transept,
and its barrel-vault is under his buttresses which will be seen in the
Library. The crypt is divided by a cross-wall with a round arch in it
into two portions, each having the vaulting supported on pillars along
the middle; but half of the first and third bays of the western portion
has been walled up in modern times for burial-vaults. The width of the
crypt is about 18 feet and the total length about 68 feet.

  [Illustration: THE NORMAN CRYPT.]

This part of the church was assigned by Walbran to Thomas of Bayeux
(1070-1100), and by Sir Gilbert Scott to Thurstan (1114-1141); but it is
quite possible that both these Archbishops, if not Oda or Oswald before
them, may have had a share in its construction. Much of the work at any
rate belongs to a Norman church which preceded that of Archbishop Roger.

In the vaulting (which by-the-way has had to be propped at some period
by two rude pointed limestone arches at the west end) the chamfered
groin-ribs seem to have been added later for strength, probably when the
storey above was remodelled; but the vaulting itself, with its square
pillars, its plain round arches from pillar to pillar and from pillar to
walls, and without ribs upon the groins (such having been its original
condition, apparently), seems pure Norman work.[104] The traces of
painted decoration remaining upon both pillars and vaulting are probably
original. Along the walls the arches spring, not from corbels, but from
short strings of the same pattern with the impost-moulding on the
pillars--a pattern not of very early character. The north and south
walls must, perhaps, be as old at least as the vaulting which rests
against them; nor does the former wall seem quite on the same plane with
the portion of Archbishop Roger's choir foundations visible outside
(between the present choir and the apse), he having perhaps built his
wall against this one. The large limestone buttress against this wall,
and another buttress which rises from the east wall but is hidden by the
vaulting, were added in the Decorated period, and can be followed up
through the two storeys above. They terminate in the pinnacles of the
flying buttresses that span the choir-aisle. The south wall may perhaps
be definitely placed somewhat early in the Norman period, since the
windows are splayed both internally and externally.[105] Of equal age,
probably, is the cross-wall (which, to judge from the mass of masonry
that spans the present passage of communication between the two parts of
the crypt, is very thick) since allowance is made for its thickness in
the spacing of the windows.[106] It is at least as old as the vaulting,
whose bays are arranged to suit it; and moreover the half-pillar against
its eastern side has never been a whole pillar, as the capital plainly
shows. This last remark applies also to the half-pillar against the
extreme west wall, which therefore may perhaps be taken as marking the
westward limit of the crypt at the time when the vaulting was
constructed; while the east wall (excluding the apse) probably marks
the contemporary eastward limit--if, that is to say, the eastern portion
of the vaulting has not undergone alteration. That eastern portion is
clearly planned for an apse or chancel of some kind. The arch that rises
eastward from the last pillar is stopped half-way in its course by a
cross-arch opening into the apse, and the two last groin-ribs are
carried from the pillar to the abutments of the cross-arch, being
obliged by this contraction of span to form the only pointed arches in
the whole vaulting. Such an arrangement--a 'nave' terminating in an
apse, and at the same time divided by a row of pillars along the
middle--is somewhat unusual. The present apse is of uncertain date. Part
of it may be Norman. Its window indeed is of early Norman type: yet its
wall seems of softer stone than the rest of the crypt,[107] and the
string which runs along the east wall of the latter and round the
responds of the cross-arch is there broken off: moreover, the cross-arch
itself is clearly not of the same date or construction with the two ribs
of the apse-roof, which ribs may possibly be of the same date as the
groin-ribs; and lastly, it will be remembered that the shafts on the
exterior had something of the appearance of Archbishop Roger's work. The
floor of the apse is raised on two steps, but there is no trace of an

It will be noticed that at the south-east corner there is no apsidal
chamber to correspond to that in the storey above. There is, however, an
unsavoury hole from which have been extracted a number of skulls.
Indeed, this crypt formerly contained huge piles of bones, which had
probably been brought here by the sixteenth century builders from the
foundations of their new nave-aisles,[108] and which were removed in
1865 to a pit in the graveyard. Among the stone relics which have found
a resting-place here, the most interesting are a sarcophagus, the head
of a cross of Saxon character, and a group of coffin-lids near the north
wall. Most of these last are perhaps of the thirteenth century.[109] At
the west end of the crypt is preserved Blore's reredos.

=The Chapter-house= is 22 feet wide from wall to wall and 35 feet long,
but it was evidently once open to the vestry, and the dividing wall,
which with its bench-table is of limestone, was erected in the Decorated
or in the Perpendicular period. In both rooms, as also in the storey
above, the original floor was perhaps of stone or tiles, but if so, it
has been covered or superseded by wooden planking.

The Chapter-house is marked as such by the stone benches which are
carried in two tiers along the north and south walls. On the north side
the upper tier is interrupted by the piers of an arcading of plainly
chamfered round arches, the central bay of which contains a fine
mediæval cupboard with iron scroll-work. The doorway into the choir is
very curiously treated on this side. It is surmounted first by a lintel,
the stones above which are wedges forming a 'flat arch,' and then by a
round arch so high as to run up behind the westernmost arch of the
arcading. The very fine vaulting, although some have ascribed it to the
Early English period, belongs more probably to the time of Archbishop
Roger. Unlike that over the choir-aisles and the Markenfield chapel,
however, it has all its arches rounded, and is without wall-ribs. It
springs from five-sided corbels which, like the corbels of the old nave,
are finished off with scrolls, and which on the north side are placed
against the piers of the arcading; and in the middle of the room it is
supported on two cylindrical and monolithic pillars. The bases and
capitals of these are circular, and the former are almost pure Early
English, the plinth having a round moulding at the bottom, and the base
proper consisting of two round mouldings separated by a hollow, with one
or two beads or fillets. The capitals are less advanced in style, as the
part just above the bell is not moulded and the abacus retains the
square edge. All the eight ribs that rise from each pillar resemble the
groin-ribs in the crypt.

  [Illustration: THE CHAPTER-HOUSE.]

The arcade against the north wall is continued in the vestry, and it has
been thought that it is Norman, and that its arches were once open.[110]
But had this ever been the case the piers would surely have been
narrower, and would have had capitals. Indeed, it is doubtful whether
the arcade is Norman at all: for if it were, its bays might be expected
to agree in span and number with the (presumably Norman) bays of the
crypt, whereas there are five bays there and only four here occupying
the same total length. Secondly, the set-off on which its piers stand is
probably Archbishop Roger's work, as will appear later; and the piers
themselves seem to be of the same construction with the wall behind
them, which again is almost certainly his. Moreover, it is significant
that the arches agree in span with those of his choir, and that their
piers are back to back with his vaulting-shafts in the choir-aisle.
Lastly, these piers correspond in width with his buttresses on the north
side of the choir. In fact it is difficult to resist the conclusion that
they are Archbishop Roger's south choir buttresses in disguise,[111] and
that the arches between them were thrown across merely to form a
straight boundary for the vaulting, and to carry a ledge which (when
there was no storey above) might support the external roof. The piers
indeed are carried up, with a 'straight joint' on either side, above the
springing of the arches, and the latter are constructed as if they had
been let into the piers as an after-thought.[112]

As the bays of this arcade, to which the vaulting is adapted, do not
agree with those of the crypt, it follows that the two cylindrical
pillars here do not stand exactly over the pillars below--which
strengthens the presumption that the vaulting there is of earlier date,
and that its groin-ribs were added later for strength: nor does the
dividing wall here stand exactly over the cross-wall below, so that the
strain on the crypt roof must be considerable.

The two round windows are very widely splayed, and the uppermost part of
their rim has a different curvature from the rest, as if they had once
been straight-sided and round-headed. In their present form they are of
uncertain date. The most conspicuous instance of the employment of this
rare type of window--viz., the nave of Southwell Cathedral--is pure
Norman, but the received opinion ascribes these Ripon examples to the
time of Archbishop Roger, and it will be observed that their position
harmonizes with the bays of the vaulting, which is presumably his, but
has no relation externally to the spacing of the windows of the crypt,
which, moreover, have an external splay. The third window was once
circular like the rest, for a portion of the rim may still be traced;
but as it would otherwise have been bisected by the cross-wall, the
later builders have blocked half of it and squared the rest, splaying it
at the same time like a squint. The date of the south wall itself is
doubtful. It is thinner here than in either the vestry or the crypt.

  [Illustration: The Resurrection.
   St. Wilfrid.
   The Coronation of the Virgin.

Near the modern hearth is a case of curiosities found about the church,
among them several fourteenth or fifteenth century reliefs in alabaster,
representing the Resurrection, the Coronation of the Virgin, the story
of Herodias, and the figure of a bishop, probably St. Wilfrid, with a
curious P-shaped implement on his arm.

At the north end of the cross-wall it will be observed that the blocked
doorway noticed in the choir-aisle was not round-headed on this side,
but segmental. The square-headed doorway in the cross-wall itself is
modern, and opens into a lobby, the opposite side of which is formed by
the Decorated buttress whose lower portion was noticed in the crypt,
while on the left is the doorway into the choir, and on the right
another square-headed doorway, opening into the vestry.

=The Vestry.=--Before the erection of the cross-wall the vaulting
evidently extended eastward continuously to the apse, which still
contains a fragment of it with two corbels, while further traces,
including another corbel, may be seen upon the south wall. Its removal
may have taken place either when the two Decorated buttresses were
introduced, or at the erection of the Lady-loft, or possibly much later;
but was doubtless contemporaneous with the building of the cross-wall,
which was evidently intended not only as a partition, but as a 'stop'
for the portion of the vaulting that was retained. The present ceiling
was put up by Sir Gilbert Scott, who, it is said, would have restored
the vaulting had funds allowed. Of the buttresses, that adjoining the
doorway has in its front, as well as in the side toward the lobby, a
small trefoiled and moulded recess. These two buttresses are built
against the piers of the arcading, part of the last arch of which is
visible behind the cupboard.

In the same cupboard may be observed, scarcely above the floor, a wide
stone ledge with a bold moulding worked along the front. If the floor
can ever have been lower than it is now, this ledge may have been used
as a bench. In itself, it is of course the set-off on which the piers of
the arcading stand. Now it will be remembered that the portion of
Archbishop Roger's wall-base visible from the graveyard (between the
choir and the apse) has at the top a wide set-off or slope. This ledge
in the vestry, then, seems to be level with the base of that slope,
where moreover there is a moulding similar to that found here; also the
front of the ledge here seems to be flush with Archbishop Roger's
masonry there.

If, then, the work there is his,[113] the above considerations afford
some reason surely for the belief that this set-off on which the piers
of the arcading stand, and perhaps also the uppermost courses of the
wall beneath it, are Archbishop Roger's work. Nor is it improbable that
this set-off once had a slope, of which that above-mentioned was the
continuation, and out of which the buttresses (_i.e._, the arcade piers)
rose after the manner of those on the other side of the choir--in fact,
that Archbishop Roger intended to make this wall the exterior of his
church by demolishing the crypt, vestry, and Chapter-house; and that it
was only after some such idea had been conceived and abandoned, that the
arches were thrown across from buttress to buttress, the vaulting
constructed against them, this ledge formed (by cutting away the slope
of the set-off), and the stone benches carried along the wall of the

The arch above the ledge has been mutilated to make way for a modern
spiral staircase of wood leading to the Library. Half-way up this
staircase there remain upon the wall and upon the buttress (if it may
now be so called) portions of a string-course which may be taken perhaps
as additional evidence for the theory that Archbishop Roger at first
intended to demolish the vestry and Chapter-house.[114] It does not,
however, match the external string on the other side of the choir, but
resembles the internal string in the choir-aisles.

The single window in the south wall is round-headed internally, and is
partially splayed on one side and not at all on the other: indeed the
wall here appears to have undergone some alteration. In this room this
wall is of the same thickness with the corresponding wall of the crypt,
which is not the case in the Chapter-house.

East of the above window a square-headed doorway opens into the apsidal
chamber enclosed by the corner buttress. This curious little chamber was
probably a sacristy or treasury. It has a recess in the west side, and
seems to have communicated directly with the graveyard. In the roof is a
slab which has a small cross graven upon it, and which may have formed
part of an altar.

The projection at the south side of the apse was probably one of the
responds of an arch against which the vaulting abutted, as in the crypt.
Under the east window the curve of the wall has been flattened, probably
to afford a better back for the altar, of which the step remains. On the
north side is an aumbry, with a recess adjoining it in the side of the
buttress; and on the south side is a smaller aumbry, and a piscina with
a projecting basin and a semicircular head, the latter cut apparently in
one stone. This again is probably one of the earliest piscinæ in
existence. The curve of the apse is wider in this storey than below,
which partly accounts for the fact that the adjoining Decorated buttress
protrudes here into the room. There is also a difference in the stone
used, and in several other particulars, _e.g._, the two windows here
have very little external splay--all of which may or may not indicate a
difference in date between the apse in this storey and in the crypt. The
hand of Archbishop Roger seems traceable here not only in the external
shafts and corbel-table, but also in the trefoiling (externally) of the
east window. The two vaulting-corbels at any rate seem to be his, as
well as the piscina. The upper part of the apse has lost its
semicircular shape and been squared, and some masonry has been thrown
across from its wall to the Decorated buttress, the motive having been
perhaps to make a better support for the rectangular east end of the
Lady-loft. The oak table in this room was probably the Communion-table
of the church during the period following the Reformation.

The question now arises how long the vestry and Chapter-house have
served their present purpose. Of the arrangements in this storey before
the time of Archbishop Roger nothing can be recovered with certainty,
but the (presumably Norman) wall between the two parts of the crypt
suggests by its thickness that it was intended to support a division of
some kind above. After being remodelled in the time of Archbishop Roger,
however, this upper storey was evidently open from end to end, and its
apsidal termination, containing both piscina and altar-step, indicates
that it was a chapel: indeed, as has been well suggested, it was
probably the original Lady Chapel. Nevertheless, in an age when every
action of life was invested with a religious character, the western part
may have been used for capitular purposes even without a dividing wall,
and the gritstone benches, so significant of those purposes, are
doubtless of considerable age. The statement in the old Records that the
trial of 1228[115] was held _apud Rypon in Aulâ Capituli_ is definite
enough to show that there was a recognised place for Chapter meetings;
nor is it improbable that the reference may be to the present building.
Some doubt is thrown upon this conclusion by a proclamation of
Archbishop Lee in 1537 sequestrating the Common Fund on the ground that
"the Chapter-house is ruinous in walls, roof, and stonework generally,
so that it is likely to fall." These words, it has been thought, can
never have been applicable to the present Chapter-house, and it has been
suggested therefore that there may have been another which has
disappeared. Archbishop Lee's words, however, are perhaps not
irreconcilable with the present building. They may refer to the serious
settlement which necessitated the huge Perpendicular buttress at the
corner of what is now the vestry. There is, it is true, some difficulty
in the fact that it is not the vestry but the Chapter-house which is
mentioned, and in the allusion to a dilapidated roof (_tectura_); but it
is conceivable that there was as yet no dividing wall, that the vaulting
of what is now the vestry was still standing, that it had been injured
by the settlement above-mentioned--in fact that its removal and the
erection of the dividing wall took place in the time of Archbishop Lee.
His direction for repairs may also account for the presence of limestone
in the north wall of the Chapter-house, and for the propping of the
vault at the west end of the crypt.[116] As has already been shown, the
history of the vestry is bound up with that of the Chapter-house. At
what period services ceased to be held at the altar in the apse, it is
difficult to say; perhaps on the completion of a Lady Chapel above,
perhaps on the erection of the dividing wall,[117] perhaps through the
advent of the Reformation. At any rate, it was probably not before this
part of the church had ceased to be used for services that it began to
be recognised as a robing-room. There is an allusion to a recognised
vestry in Leland, and very possibly the present room is meant; if so, it
would seem from his account to have been used also as a library. But the
fact remains that the church possesses no vestry except what is
obviously a disused chapel.

=The Lady-chapel= or Lady-loft is 23 feet 3 inches wide, and 68 feet
long.[118] Its west and north sides, being formed by what was once the
exterior of the church, display not only windows and buttresses, but
also a string-course with gargoyles. From the west wall projects one of
Archbishop Roger's buttresses, terminating in a slope, between the two
blocked windows of the Mallory Chapel, which resemble the aisle windows
of the other transept. The window on the right, mutilated by the
insertion of the doorway, has lost its shafts, and retains only their
capitals. The other window is partly cut off by the south wall, and is
now a cupboard.

In the north wall, the first three bays are Archbishop Roger's, and the
windows resemble in their treatment the two just described, and are
separated from each other by two buttresses which terminate, like those
on the opposite side of the choir, in two slopes one close below the
other. There is a third buttress, terminating in a single slope, at the
angle formed with the transept. The Decorated window in the fourth bay
is treated in the same manner as the rest of those in the eastern
portion of the choir-aisles, and the Decorated buttresses which flank it
are those which have been followed up from the crypt. The rich
string-course or cornice along the top of this and the west wall
corresponds with that on the other side of the church. The gargoyles are
of course Decorated, and so is the string-course itself, eastwards at
any rate of the second gargoyle on the north wall, for here one of the
mouldings has a fillet upon it. Whether the rest of the string is
Archbishop Roger's work or not, it is difficult to decide.

The large windows in the south and east walls are surmounted by square
labels ending in heads. Above the modern fireplace is the defaced
monument of Anthony Higgin, second Dean (d. 1624), the founder of the
present library; and further east, under the small lancet window (which
is filled with fragments of stained glass), is an arched recess of
considerable size, and a trefoiled piscina, each surmounted by a gable
moulding with a finial. The piscina probably belonged to the chantry of
Our-Lady-in-the-Lady-loft. A large stone bracket, supported by a
grotesque figure, projects from the east wall, and the east window is
bright with armorial bearings of benefactors of the church. This glass,
which is mostly of the eighteenth century, was once in the great window
of the choir. The north side of the recess in which the east window is
set, is partially splayed outwards to join the last Decorated buttress,
which with its neighbour have been cut back in this storey to the plane
of the pinnacles above--doubtless when this Lady-loft was added.

The present pinewood ceiling was put up by Sir Gilbert Scott, but most
of the carved angle-pieces in the panels came from an older roof of oak.

  [Illustration: THE LIBRARY.]

The history of the library begins with the MS. of the Gospels given by
St. Wilfrid; and the ascription to him of various other gifts, which
occurs in the writings of Peter of Blois (a Canon of Ripon in the
twelfth century), implies at any rate that there was a library when
Peter wrote. In 1466 money was bequeathed by William Rodes, a chaplain,
_ad fabricam cujusdam librarii in ecclesiâ construendi_, words which may
refer to the screening off for books of a portion of this chapel; but
in Leland's time books were apparently kept in the vestry, though it is
not certain that the present vestry is meant.[119] Except a few MSS. of
Chapter Acts, Fabric Rolls, etc., none of the books now here are known
for certain to have belonged to the church before the Reformation;[120]
indeed the present collection began with the bequest of his books by
Dean Higgin in 1624. The books were in this chapel in 1817, but in 1859
they were at the Deanery. There are now over 5000 volumes, including
seven MSS., of which one of the most notable is the Ripon Psalter
(1418), containing the special offices for St. Wilfrid, and many printed
books of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, among them two fine
Caxtons. Many of the books have beautiful old bindings in stamped
leather. The most interesting items in the collection are exposed in a
glass case at the east end of the room.[121] Near the opposite end is
another case containing the bones recently dug up under the site of the
mediæval altar in the Saxon crypt.

   (From a pen-drawing by the author.)]


[55] This is what was meant by saying in Chapter II. that in each tower
one side is older than the others.

[56] In the interior of these towers the courses run level with those of
Archbishop Roger's work--a fact which has been taken as indicating that
the lowest portion of the towers internally (but not, of course, the
tower arches) may be actually his work. The theory that his west front
was flanked by towers or chambers of some kind is not improbable.

[57] A triforium is properly a gallery, open to the church, between the
internal and external roofs of the aisles, but here there were no
aisles, and the gallery or passage is in the thickness of the wall.

[58] This term will be used wherever the usual term 'vaulting-shaft' is

[59] The earth here has apparently been brought in from outside. Can it
have come from some sacred spot abroad? The original floor, if not
earthen, may possibly have rested on the set-off.

[60] It has been suggested, however, that they may be relics of a feast
buried here to defile the site of the altar. The bones in question are
now in the Lady-loft.

[61] With one of the deposits was found a brass bodkin of the type used
in the sixteenth century.

[62] It was Walbran, again, who gave these reasons for assigning the
crypt to Wilfrid. Before his time it was thought to have been built
during the Roman Occupation.

[63] See article by Mr. J. T. Micklethwaite, V.P.S.A., in _Archæol.
Journ._, vol. xxxvii. p. 364.

[64] A _confessio_, it need hardly be said, has nothing to do with a
confessional. The word is probably to be explained as meaning the tomb
of one who had been a witness or _confessor_ of the Faith.

[65] In making excavations for laying the wind-trunk of the organ the
exterior of this wall was laid bare and appeared extremely rough. This,
however, does not prove that it had never been meant to be seen. It may
have been faced with smooth stones, which, just because they were
exposed, attracted attention, and were removed by later masons for use
elsewhere.--_Mr. Micklethwaite._

[66] Among the five known Saxon crypts (all of the _confessio_ type)
Ripon and Hexham alone show this peculiarity.

[67] See _Proceedings Soc. Antiq._, 16th June 1892.

[68] In making the above-mentioned excavation in 1891, Mr. Micklethwaite
found what was presumably the floor of the body of Wilfrid's church. It
was of plaster 3 inches thick, and was 1 foot 7 inches below the floor
of the present Cathedral.

[69] The explanation of the crypt as a _confessio_ is due to Mr.
Micklethwaite, and is ably set forth, with its consequences, in
_Archæol. Journ._, vol. xxxix. p. 347.

[70] The square termination of the crypt is in favour of a square
presbytery; while his Roman proclivities are perhaps slightly in favour
of an apse, and of aisles.

[71] _Surtees Soc._, vol. lxxiv. p. 83.

[72] It is certainly true that numerous white _tesseræ_ of Italian
character, such as Wilfrid might have used, have been dug up on this
site (_Murray's Cathedrals_, Pt. 1, p. 172, n. 1). They may, however,
mark the site of the domestic buildings and not of the church. Or they
may be relics of the Roman Occupation.

[73] By Walbran in _Proceedings Archæol. Inst._, York Vol. 1846 (pub.

[74] There is an interesting suggestion in _Murray's Cathedrals_, Pt. 1,
p. 172, n. 2, that the church of which the crypt formed a part was built
not by Wilfrid but by Eadhead, who, as the supplanter of Wilfrid, would
probably be excluded from Wilfrid's monastery, but who may,
nevertheless, have employed his workmen. The western position of the
altar, however, is against placing the work as late as the episcopate of

[75] The suggestion is Mr. Micklethwaite's. _Altare_ would, of course,
mean the high altar in the presbytery above.

[76] A third font (modern) formerly stood in the north-west tower.

[77] It is curious that the same story should be told of Roger de
Mowbray, founder of Byland Abbey in this same county. (_Murray's

[78] Another suggestion is that the subject has some connection with the
history of the Disobedient Prophet.

[79] _Surtees Soc._, vol. lxiv. p. 92.

[80] But for the label, these arms resemble those of John of Eltham
(brother of Edward III.), who died without issue in 1334.

[81] It is pleasant to find in the church several indications of aid
received from the other great ecclesiastical foundation in the

[82] Taken by itself, the coarseness of the work in the tower and
transept would suggest that these parts were later, and not earlier,
than the nave. But (not to mention documentary evidence), if they were
later, then the Rood Screen must be later also, which can hardly be the
case, the stalls against it being dated 1489.

[83] Probably (as Walbran suggested) with money subscribed for the
tower, the completion of which was perhaps the less pressing necessity.

[84] In the large mediæval churches there was usually an altar at the
east end of the nave.

[85] It may have been put here at the time of the building of the
present nave, than which it is perhaps slightly earlier.

[86] The Markenfields were one of the principal families in the
neighbourhood from the fourteenth century onwards, until in the reign of
Elizabeth they ruined themselves by taking part in the Rising in the
North. Their ancient moated Manor-house, in which both the knights
sculptured on these altar tombs must have lived, is still standing,
about three miles from Ripon, towards Harrogate.

[87] This aisle was also the site of the chantry of St. Andrew.

[88] In these pages this term is used to describe round mouldings which
are brought to an edge without actually having a fillet upon them.

[89] By Mr. Francis Bond.

[90] In spite of Sir G. Scott's conjectural plan. (See p. 67.)

[91] It is possible that the screen there mentioned may be the present
structure, or may have been incorporated into it. In 1408 the accident
to the tower had not yet occurred, and the piers that now flank the
screen had therefore not yet been built. There is a not very credible
story that the present screen came from Fountains Abbey.

[92] This peculiarity is found at some other places--_e.g._, St. Cross,

[93] This column and that opposite to it on the north side have been
regarded as entirely Decorated imitations of Archbishop Roger's columns,
but surely without sufficient reason.

[94] See also the account of the East End in Chapter II., pp. 60-63.

[95] Two holes have been drilled through the rear-vault from the attic
above, but for what purpose it is hard to say.

[96] It appears from the Fabric Rolls that a new high altar was begun in
1522. The work seems to have lasted four years, and apparently included
a carved wooden reredos.

[97] _Subtus altare_ suggests a crypt, but there seems to have been no
crypt under the choir. Perhaps the _altare_ meant may have stood over
the Saxon or the Norman crypt.

[98] Mention may be here made of the Communion plate, some of which is
as old as 1676 and has upon it representations of the church, very
incorrect but showing the spires; also of the mace which is now borne
before the Dean, and which has been assigned to the fifteenth century
and may possibly have been once borne before the Wakeman. Upon the top
has been engraved an _Agnus Dei_, the cognizance of the church.

[99] A piece of woodwork, however, which was in the north aisle at the
time of the last restoration, is said to have borne the date 1397.

[100] The old miserere was probably removed when the Throne was made to
comprise two stalls. (_See_ p. 111.)

[101] It has been supposed that these niches were for figures of St.
Peter and St. Wilfrid, and that the same was the case with the two
niches which form the ends of the lower tier in the Rood Screen, and
also with those which flank the west doors. It may also have been the
case with the two eastward projections (if there were two) from the
western piers of the Central Tower.

[102] Below the string-course there is a certain amount of limestone in
the wall, but this hardly accounts for the language of a Chapter minute
which records a meeting in 1546 to consider the repair of certain
_defectus et ruinositates apertae tam campanilis quam muri lapidei
insulae borealis_.

[103] Above the shrine there hung, apparently, a gilded crescent like
that above the site of St. Thomas's shrine at Canterbury. The bones were
enclosed in a splendid coffer with poles attached, and on solemn
occasions this 'feretory,' besides being carried in procession, was
sometimes placed under a tent in the fields. It was also very
elaborately renewed in 1520 (_Surtees Soc._, vol. lxxxi. p. 204, n.,
etc.). Portions of the shrine exist, perhaps, in the alabaster
bas-reliefs in the Chapter-house, as well as in the base of the railing
in the north aisle of the nave.

[104] It may, however, be later than the main walls.

[105] The lower portion of this wall seems to be of an even earlier type
of masonry than the upper. A somewhat similar difference between the
upper and lower portions may be observed in the east and north walls

[106] The late doorway approached by four steps, east of the cross-wall,
occupies the place of one of the windows.

[107] Three kinds of stone occur in this crypt: a sandstone, a fine
gritstone, and a coarser and harder gritstone.

[108] There are numerous entries in the Fabric Rolls, from 1512 onwards,
relating to expenses 'for the carriage of the bones.'

[109] One has a sword graven upon it, another a pair of shears (closed),
another a book and a chalice, the latter slightly tipped, while a
gravestone lying in the apse has upon it a dagger, and a pair of shears

[110] Since it is probable that the axis of the church has always, at
all periods, passed over the Saxon crypt, the Chapter-house and vestry
can hardly have been the south aisle of the choir before the time of
Archbishop Roger (as Walbran supposed), for they are too far south;
indeed, they would seem rather to have been a chapel thrown out from
such an aisle.

[111] In the storey above will be found certain buttresses which are
clearly his, which stand exactly over these piers, and of which the
latter are probably merely the lower portions.

[112] The supposition that the arches were added afterwards would
explain why the westernmost of them cuts off the top of the arch over
the door.

[113] That it is his can hardly be doubted. The moulding and slope at
the top resemble those which characterize the wall-base throughout his

[114] _Murray's Cathedrals_, Pt. 1, p. 180.

[115] See Chapter I.

[116] A view of the crypt as it was before the removal of the bones
represents the vaulting as propped also by certain pillars of
Perpendicular character. These may have been removed by Sir Gilbert

[117] _I.e._, if that wall was not erected contemporaneously with the
said Lady Chapel.

[118] For its date see Chapters I. and II.

[119] Can Leland mean that the books, then as now, were in the
Lady-loft, and that part of it was used as a vestry?

[120] In 1567 a number of books were found in 'a vawte' of the church,
where they had been concealed for safety (_Surtees Soc._, vol. lxxxi. p.

[121] For a full account of this interesting library, see the monograph
by the Rev. Canon Fowler, F.S.A., of Durham, by whom the books were
arranged in 1872. A copy is kept in the room.



=The Deanery=, a stone house with two gabled wings, stands opposite to the
north transept. It was built in or about 1625. The front bears the royal
arms, and the hall contains some paintings of the kings and queens of
England, which are more curious than valuable, and are probably of no
very great age. Before the house is an ancient stone wall with
strongly-marked base, gable coping, and a doorway whose trefoil head was
apparently not made for its present position. This may perhaps be part
of Abbot Huby's wall, or of the boundary-wall of either the Palace or
the Bedern.

Near the south-west tower is a fine red-brick house which doubtless
remembers the Georges, or even Queen Anne. It has all the air of a
prebendal residence, but if it was ever connected with the church, that
connection has long ceased.

Another red-brick house of some age, adjoining the picturesque ascent
from High St. Agnesgate to the south transept, was the Canons' Residence
up to 1859, when was bought the present Residence near the north-east
corner of the graveyard.

High St. Agnesgate contains several interesting buildings, foremost
among which is =St. Anne's Hospital=,[122] formerly called 'The Maidens'
Due' (Maison de Dieu), with its interesting ruined chapel. This is the
only one of the three hospitals which was never affiliated to the
Collegiate Church. The date of its origin has been placed shortly before
1438, in which year a chantry was founded in its chapel. The hospital
foundation was for four poor men and four poor women, and there were
also two beds for 'casuals'; and the little community was under the
charge of a priest. There was apparently no endowment. The domestic
portion of the building was pulled down in 1869. Though it had been
divided into cottages some time before that date, the original
arrangements have been recovered from an old document and from certain
indications that had survived in the fabric itself. Joined to the west
end of the chapel was a sort of nave, divided down the middle by a
partition, on one side of which were the beds for the men, on the other
those for the women, while at the west end were two rooms for the
priest. This 'nave' was probably open to the chapel, as the large size
of the western arch of the latter seems to indicate, and possibly the
infirmer inmates could attend the service without leaving their

To pass to the chapel itself--a window in the north wall has been
blocked with masonry, upon which is a shield of arms, thought to be
those of Sir Solomon Swale of South Stainley, and surmounted by a
Maltese cross with the letters S.S. and the date 1654 upon it. The west
gable has once been crowned by a bell-cote, and attached to the
south-west corner of the chapel are the remains of an arched doorway.
The western arch of the building, curiously enough, is not in the middle
of the wall. It is recessed and chamfered, and rests upon two
semi-cylindrical responds, whose rather curious capitals do not follow
the form of the shaft, but are triple and rectangular. The chapel
internally is 20 feet 10 inches long and 11 feet 6 inches wide, and is
not at right angles to its western wall, but inclines considerably
toward the south. In the middle of the entrance is an octagonal basin,
supported on a pedestal and having a shield on each of its sides. This
is thought to have been a stoup for holy water. It is not, perhaps, in
its original position, and the pedestal does not seem to belong to it.
Opposite to the blocked window already mentioned, which has an aumbry
east of it, there is a late square-headed window of two lights, whose
arches do not reach quite up to the lintel, but are connected with it by
short perpendiculars. East of this is a piscina with projecting
semi-octagonal basin, trefoil head, and ogee hood, and with a small
square window above and to the left of it. The stone slab on two stone
supports against the east wall is probably the original altar, and
tradition says that the ransom of a Scottish prince was paid down upon
it. On either side of the altar is a stone bracket, that on the north
side bearing a shield of arms.[124] The east window, which is blocked,
is divided into two lights, and the head is almost filled by a large
quatrefoil, of which the uppermost and lowermost foils are ogees. This
window, and the piers and capitals of the western arch, give the
impression that the chapel is of a date earlier than that usually
assigned for the foundation of the hospital. The modern cottages are
inhabited by eight women.

   (From a pen-drawing by the author.)]

Between St. Anne's Hospital and Bondgate Green Bridge stands the =Thorp
Prebendal House=, now divided into several dwellings. Whether its
existing fabric is as old as the Reformation or not, this was the site
upon which dwelt the Canons of the mediæval prebend of Thorp. In 1391
the hall of the then existing house was used for casting several bells
for the Minster, and here, in later days, as Canon of Thorp, lived
Marmaduke Bradley. The house is said to have been sold by Edward VI. to
the Earl of Cumberland, and to have subsequently sheltered Mary Queen of
Scots, James I, and Charles I. It is best seen from the adjoining
bridge, whence its plastered walls, irregular gables, and stone roof
form a picturesque foreground to the Cathedral. Of the dwellings into
which it is now divided, the third from the bridge contains the grand
staircase, which has twisted skeleton balusters.

East of St. Anne's Hospital, there are two more old houses, one of
which, known as =St. Agnes' Lodge=,[125] is of considerable interest. The
body of it, long and low, with a high-pitched roof and with a massive
chimney-stack buttressing one end, is said to be of the time of Henry
VII., but derives much of its 'character' from the comparatively modern
windows, which resemble the portholes of a ship. A wing added in the
seventeenth century, with quaint curvilinear gable, projects into the
garden behind. Within the house is a square hall, having above the
fireplace some carving and a painted panel of the burning of London in
1666. There is also a good oak staircase, and in the upper storey are
several quaint features, including a cupboard that may have served for a
hiding-place, and two 'powdering-closets' in which ladies' hair, or
men's wigs, could be powdered in the eighteenth century. But the part of
the house most interesting architecturally is the attics, where the
framing of the king-post roof is extremely massive, while the floor is
of _concrete_.[126] One of the roof-beams in the wing bears the date
1693. This house disputes with the Thorp Prebendal House the honour of
having sheltered Mary Queen of Scots on her way from Bolton Castle to
Tutbury, and it is said that it was during her sojourn at Ripon that she
addressed an appeal to Queen Elizabeth and received an offer of marriage
from the Duke of Norfolk. St. Agnes' Lodge claims also to have been a
temporary home of Turner, at the time when he was illustrating
Whitaker's _History of Craven_ and _History of Richmondshire_. Whether
this house or its immediately western neighbour were ever prebendal
residences it is now difficult to say.

Two old gabled houses remain in the Market-place, and one of them, now a
basket-shop, is said to have been the residence of Hugh Ripley, last
Wakeman and first Mayor of Ripon.

At the north end of Stonebridgegate, and not far from the Ure, stands
the =Hospital of St. Mary Magdalene=, sometimes called 'The Maudlins.' It
was founded by Archbishop Thurstan (1114-1141) for secular brethren and
sisters, and one chaplain. The brethren and sisters were not merely to
benefit by the charity themselves, but were to minister to lepers and
blind priests born within the Liberty of Ripon, a certain number of whom
were received into the Hospital. Lepers from outside the Liberty were
entitled to a night's lodging: so also apparently were any other
strangers or mendicant clergy who might be passing through the town. On
St. Mary Magdalene's day there was a dole of food to the poor. A second
chaplain was subsequently added by the benefaction of one William de
Homelyn. At some period, apparently after 1241, the character of the
foundation was changed by another Archbishop, whose name is not known.
The brethren and sisters disappeared, and the staff consisted henceforth
of a Master and one chaplain, or sometimes two. The Master was appointed
by the Archbishop, and was generally a clerk, though sometimes only in
acolyte's Orders. In 1334 one John Warrener, of Studley Roger, founded
here a chantry of two if not three priests. Thus there may have been no
less than six clergy attached to this small chapel; but the number was
not kept up, and at the Reformation there were, besides the Master, only
the two priests of Warrener's foundation. The Hospital continued to
minister to blind priests, and also to lepers until leprosy died out.
The lepers' portion of the building was demolished about 1350. In
1546-7 the inmates were 'five poor people.' All traces of the Master's
house, the hall, the brewery, and the original dwellings have vanished.
The dwellings were rebuilt in 1674, and again in 1875, since which date
more cottages have been added, and a new chapel; and the hospital now
accommodates twelve poor women. The Mastership, still in the gift of the
Archbishop, is at present held with one of the canonries, and the cure
of souls is discharged by a non-resident chaplain.


Fortunately the old chapel remains. The main fabric is apparently
Thurstan's. It is of gritstone, but has been much altered and repaired
at later periods, when limestone has been used. To the later work belong
the set-off of the base, the coigns, the parapet, the east part of the
south wall, the framing of most of the windows and doors, and the
buttress and bell-cote at the west end.

The west front is now divided by a large buttress of many stages
terminating in a slope, but the plinth of this buttress is apparently
original. To the right of the buttress is a long two-cusped lancet
light; to the left may be traced, perhaps, the outline of an original
round-arched window; while on both sides there are sloping lines in the
masonry, as if there had been an acutely-pointed gable here.

The north side of the chapel has been propped at a late period by three
sloping buttresses. At its western end is a doorway, the jambs of which
seem original, while the pointed head is later. About half-way along
this side is one of those 'low side windows' through which, it is
supposed, the Sacrament was administered to lepers--indeed, the
leper-house stood on this side of the chapel.[127] Though of limestone,
this small lancet window, with its arch and dripstone trefoiled, is
apparently of the thirteenth century, and an early example of its
class. East of it are, first a Perpendicular window of two lights--late
in character, and second a partially-blocked and possibly original
doorway, perhaps for the priest, (though priests' doors are usually on
the south side). Its outer arch is rounded, while the inner is pointed
and has perhaps been altered.

The east window is broad, finely arched, and surmounted by a bold
dripstone terminating in heads. Its four lights, partially blocked, are
round-headed, with rather large cusps, and in the upper part of the
window there is much tracery, in which perpendicular lines lead up to
arches that intersect. Indeed it is difficult to say whether this fine
window is an example of late Perpendicular, or of the transition to that
style from the Decorated.

It is on the south side that the irregularity in the size, spacing, and
level of the windows in this chapel is most marked. Here toward the
eastern end is a square-headed Perpendicular window of two lights, much
resembling the south window at St. Anne's Hospital, and surmounted by a
square label. Next comes a small lancet, probably Early English, with no
limestone about it. The next window is tall, rectangular, and without
tracery, but the stump of a mullion remains on the sill, which is of
gritstone. West of this is the principal entrance, a Norman arch,
beneath which a pointed arch has been inserted, the original imposts,
however, remaining. The upper arch is enriched with the chevron, and its
dripstone with two rows of the round billet arranged chequerwise and
with a moulding composed of a series of little crosses, rather
suggestive of the dog-tooth.

The interior has up to this time escaped 'restoration.' There have been
repairs, but enough only to arrest decay, and the plaster has not been
removed from the walls.[128] The length internally is about 49 feet and
the breadth just over 16 feet. The floor is of brick, and the roof,
which is almost flat, has been much renovated, but retains its original
massive cross beams and wooden corbels. Internally the two western
doorways are rounded, and just east of them the chapel is crossed by a
late Perpendicular screen, which retains its folding doors, and has an
uncommon effect due to the great length of the mullions in the upper
part. The lower portion was once closed. It is perhaps more probable
that this is the original position of the screen than that it ever
stretched across the Sanctuary. Against the north wall is a fine old
chest raised on feet and bound with many iron clamps ending in scrolls.
It has a double lock and a ring at either end, and inside it is kept a
curious bell of wood painted to resemble metal, and said to have been
hung in the bell-cote by an unscrupulous official who had caused the
real bell to be sold.

The 'low side window' internally has a depressed pointed arch, and is
widely splayed, as are also the tall and the short window opposite. It
is remarkable that although the windows differ so much externally, yet
internally all except the 'low side window' and the east window are of
the form known as the 'shouldered arch,' a form which, by-the-way, is
more usually employed in doorways.

In front of the Sanctuary are preserved two old Perpendicular pews or
stalls, with carved finials. The Sanctuary itself is raised on two
steps, and extends eight feet from the east wall. The blocked door
noticed on the exterior would open into the chapel immediately west of
the line of the lower step.

This is among the very few churches in the country which retain the
pre-Reformation stone altar, and if the instance at St. Anne's Hospital
is genuine, Ripon thus possesses two examples of this rare feature. The
altar here is 7 feet 7 inches long, 3 feet 5 inches wide, 2 feet 11
inches high, and has no step. Two of the usual five incised crosses (the
larger cross near the middle is probably spurious) may still be traced
upon the slab, the lower edge of which is chamfered off. In the front of
the substructure are two deep recesses. The altar is flanked by two
stone brackets. On the north wall is a third, and in the south wall a
piscina with two-cusped arch and projecting basin.

In front of the altar is a tessellated pavement 11 feet long and nearly
4 feet wide. It is chiefly composed of red and blackish _tesseræ_; but
in the centre is a circular medallion containing a large four-petalled
white flower with a red centre and small red flowers between the petals,
all upon a ground of black. It has been supposed that this pavement was
taken from the neighbouring remains of some Roman building. As regards
the central medallion this is probably the case, but the rest of the
pavement seems to be later work, perhaps of the thirteenth century.[129]
At the south end of the pavement is the slab of another and smaller
altar, retaining three of its incised crosses.

It appears from a document of 1306 that the chapel at that date
contained certain 'relics' of St. Mary Magdalene.

Of the mediæval bridges of Ripon =The North Bridge= alone survives.[130]
It crosses the Ure on nine arches with bold buttresses, triangular in
plan, between them, and is prolonged, with three smaller arches, over
the low meadow which forms the southern shore. It is from this shore
that the best view of it is to be obtained, a few yards down stream. The
arches, some of them recessed, vary in height and span, but all are
round save two, over one of which there is a corbel-table below the
parapet. The other side of the bridge was remodelled some twenty years


[122] In the mediæval records the street is almost invariably called
Annesgate, and indeed was probably named after the hospital. The form
'Agnesgate' is, however, not modern, for it occurs in 1462. It may have
arisen from a trisyllabic pronunciation of 'Annesgate.'

[123] Thus far I am largely indebted to a paper on this hospital by the
Rev. W. C. Lukis, F.S.A. in the twelfth edition of Walbran's _Ripon_.

[124] Possibly those of Boynton or Plumpton (_Parker_).

[125] The house is not shown.

[126] This latter peculiarity is found also in a house at Bishopton, a
mile off.

[127] Some archæologists, however, hold that the purpose of low side
windows was to display a light to scare away demons.

[128] It is probable that in the interior of many of our old churches
the surface of the stone was never meant to be seen, and was covered
with plaster at the time of building. The plaster was doubtless often
adorned with designs in colour.

[129] This view is held by Mr. Micklethwaite. The white _tesseræ_ in the
medallion resemble some which were dug up in 1837 on the site assigned
by Leland to the 'Old Abbay of Ripon' and which have been adduced to
support the view that Wilfrid's Abbey Church stood on that site and not
on the site of the present Cathedral (see p. 77 and n. 4 there).

[130] The others were Bondgate Bridge (over the Skell), Bishopton Bridge
(over the Laver), Hewick Bridge (over the Ure below the town), the
Archer-bridge, and the 'Esgel-bridge.' The position of the two last is
uncertain, and the rest have long been rebuilt. Bishopton Bridge had a
chapel upon it with which was connected a hermit. In the middle ages the
bridges were under the charge of the Archbishop. They were often the
recipients of bequests, but were themselves made to contribute to the
Common Fund of the Collegiate Church, by means of money-boxes which were
placed upon them.



  ST. EATA                                    _c._ 657-661.
  ST. WILFRID                                      661-709.
  TATBERHT                                             709.
  BOTWINE                                         died 786.
  ALBERHT                                          786-787.
  SIGRED                                               787.
  UILDEN OR WILDENG                                       ?


  Geoffrey de Bockland                        _circa_ 1226.
  Laurence de Topcliffe                       _circa_ 1230.
  Eadmund de Maundevill                      resigned 1279.
  Anthony Beck[132]                                   1279.
  Roger Swayne                         _c._ 1285-_c._ 1311.
  Richard de Henney                         1311-_c._ 1315.
  William de Seton                          1316-_c._ 1320.
  Thomas de Cave                            1320-_c._ 1322.
  Robert de Rypon                           1322-_c._ 1333.
  Peter de Wetwang                                    1333.
  John de Crakhall                     _c._ 1344-_c._ 1378.
  John de Seggefield                             1378-1384.
  John de Middleton                              1384-1397.
  John de Dene[133]                         1397-_c._ 1435.
  Simon Alcock                              1435-_c._ 1436.
  Richard Morton                               1436-? 1447.
  John Clere                                   ? 1447-1478.
  Robert Symson                                  1479-1481.
  Thomas Bakehouse                          1481-_c._ 1521.
  Richard Dean                         _c._ 1535-_c._ 1545.
  Christopher Seale                       _c._ 1545-? 1547.


  Moses Fowler, B.D.                             1604-1608.
  Anthony Higgin, B.D.                           1608-1624.
  John Wilson, D.D.                              1624-1634.
  Thomas Dod, D.D.[134]                     1635-_c._ 1645.
  John Wilkins, D.D., F.R.S.[135]                1660-1668.
  John Neile, D.D.[136]                          1674-1675.
  Thomas Tullie, D.D.                                 1675.
  Thomas Cartwright, D.D.[137]                   1675-1686.
  Christopher Wyvill, D.D.[138]                  1686-1710.
  Heneage Dering, LL.D.[139]                     1710-1750.
  Francis Wanley, D.D.[140]                      1750-1791.
  Robert Darley Waddilove, LL.D., F.S.A.[141]    1792-1828.
  James Webber, D.D.                             1828-


  James Webber, D.D.[142]                            -1847.
  The Hon. Henry David Erskine, D.D.[143]        1847-1859.
  Thomas Garnier, B.C.L.                         1859-1860.
  William Goode, D.D., F.S.A.                    1860-1868.
  Hugh M'Neile, D.D.                             1868-1876.
  Sydney Turner, B.A.                                 1876.
  William Robert Fremantle, D.D.                 1876-1895.
  The Hon. William Henry Fremantle, D.D.              1895.


  EADHEAD                                          681-686.
  CHARLES THOMAS LONGLEY, D.D., F.S.A.[144]      1836-1856.
  ROBERT BICKERSTETH, D.D., F.R.S.[145]          1857-1884.
  WILLIAM BOYD-CARPENTER, D.D.                        1884.


[131] The mediæval College of Canons had no official head, but the
Prebendary of Stanwick, as Ruler of the Choir, was generally in
residence, and was in some sense the most important of the Canons. He
did not, however, preside, at least not if any other Canon was in
residence. Thus Christopher Dragley (Prebendary of Monkton) was often
_Praesidens Capituli_ from 1533 to 1539, and Marmaduke Bradley
(Prebendary of Thorp) from 1544 to 1546.

[132] Afterwards the celebrated Bishop of Durham, one of the most
prominent personages at the court of Edward I.

[133] A brass to him is preserved in the Cathedral. The inscription was
probably cut in his lifetime, for the space for the date of his death is
left blank. He helped to found the chantry of St. Wilfrid, and is buried
in the Choir.

[134] Deprived by the Parliament when they suppressed the Chapter.

[135] One of the founders of the Royal Society: married Oliver
Cromwell's sister: became Bishop of Chester.

[136] Buried near the vestry door.

[137] Became Bishop of Chester, and was a strong supporter of James II.

[138] Buried within the Altar-rails (brass).

[139] Buried in the north choir-aisle (tablet).

[140] Buried in the Cathedral (formerly there was a tablet in the south
aisle of the nave).

[141] Tablet in the Chapter-house.

[142] Buried within the Altar-rails.

[143] Buried in the graveyard near the north-east corner of the choir
(tomb by Sir Gilbert Scott).

[144] Afterwards Bishop of Durham, then Archbishop of York, and finally
Archbishop of Canterbury. The modern diocese of Ripon does not
correspond in area with that over which Eadhead presided (_see Chap.

[145] Buried in the graveyard near the south-east corner of the choir.


  ABBOTS, list of, 142.

  Ailcy Hill, 9.

  Aisles of the nave, 78;
    south aisle, 79;
    north aisle, 81;
    of the choir, (north) 113;
      (south) 115.

  Archbishops of York, 13 _et seq._

  Athelstan, King, 9.

  BAS-RELIEF of lion, 80.

  Bedern, the, 24, 26, 34.

  Bells, the, 43.

  Bishops of Ripon, 143.

  Bridge, the North, 141.

  CANONS, irregularities of the, 23.

  Canons of Stanwick, list of, 142.

  Chantries, 28.

  Chapter, the, 29, 30;
    re-established, 31, 33, 34, 37.

  Chapter-house, the, 53, 122-125.

  Charles I., 34.

  Choir, the, 49, 58;
    interior, 96-117.

  College of Canons, the, 12, 17, 22, 30.

  Courts, ecclesiastical and secular, 19, 31, 37.

  Crypt, the Saxon, 71-78;
    the Norman, 117-120.

  Cuthbert, St., 4, 11, 12.

  DEANERY, the, 133.

  Deans, list of, 143.

  Dedication by Wilfrid, 6.

  Diocese of Ripon, 36.

  EADHEAD, Bishop of Ripon, 7.

  East End, the, 60.

  Eata, first Abbot, 4, 12.

  Edward I., 25.

  FONTS, the, 79.

  Grammar-School, Ripon, 14, 30-36.

  Gray, Archbishop Walter de, 11, 16, 21.

  HENRY IV., 26.

  Henry V., 11.

  JAMES I., 31, 33.

  LADY-KIRK, the, 22, 27.

  Lady-loft, the, 54, 129.

  Liberty of Ripon, 19-37.

  Library, the, 130.

  MALLORY Chapel, 93.

  Markenfield Chapel and tombs, 90.

  Monastery of Ripon, the (Scottish), 4;
    (Saxon), 5;
    end of, 12.

  NAVE, rebuilding of, 27, 69;
    north side, exterior, 44;
    south side, 50;
    interior, 65.

  ODA, Archbishop of Canterbury, 11.

  Organ, the, 111.

  Oswald, Archbishop, 11.

  PALACE, Archiepiscopal, 24, 35.

  Peculiar, the parish a, 19, 31, 37.

  Prebends, 12, 14, 17, 18, 23, 26.

  Presbytery, arrangement of the, 104.

  Pulpit (Old) in north transept, 88.

  Ripon Minster, foundation of the Scottish monastery, 4;
    original site of, 5;
    dedication of new church, 6;
    end of monastery, 12;
    as a collegiate church, 12, 22;
    as a parochial church, 18, 22;
    present church built, 15;
    central tower reconstructed, 27;
    nave rebuilt, 27.

  Rising in the North, the, 30.

  Roger de Pont l'Evêque, Archbishop, 15;
    his plan, 16, 67.

  Rood Screen, the, 94.

  ST. AGNES' Lodge, 136.

  St. Anne's Hospital, 133.

  St. John's Hospital, 36.

  St. Mary Magdalene's Hospital, 35, 137.

  Sanctuary, right of, 9, 23, 30.

  Saxon monastery, the, 5.

  Scots, incursion of, 25.

  Scottish monastery, the, 4.

  Sedilia, the, 104.

  Site, original, 5.

  Spires, fall and removal of the, 34.

  Stalls, the choir, 106.

  Stammergate, 5, 22, 35.

  Stanwick, Prebend, 17, 18, 29, 142.

  THEODORE, Archbishop of Canterbury, 6.

  Thomas of Bayeux, Archbishop, 13.

  Thorp, prebendal house, 36, 136.

  Throne, the Bishop's, 111;
    the Archbishop's, 36.

  Thurstan, Archbishop, 73, 14.

  Tower, the central, 45, 56;
    interior, 82.

  Towers, western, 41.

  Transept, north, 46;
    south, 51, 56;
    interior, 85;
      north, 86;
      south, 91.

  VAULT-BOSSES in choir, 103.

  Vaulting, north transept, 91.

  Vestry, the, 125.

  WAKEMAN, the, 33.

  West front, the, 16, 40, 43;
    interior, 68.

  West Gate, the, demolished, 35.

  Wilfrid, St., 4, 6, 7, 8, 12, 75;
    relics of, 11, 16;
    translation of, 14;
    shrine of, 14, 29, 81;
    crypt of, 31, 71.

  William, St., of York (Archbishop Fitzherbert), 15.

  Window, east, 34, 62, 102.

  Wolsey, Archbishop, 33.

  Wulfstan, Archbishop, 10.


DIMENSIONS (internal).

  Total Length,             270 feet
  Length of Nave,           133   "
  Width of Nave,             87   "
  Width of Transept,         52   "
  Height of Vault (Nave),    88   "
  Height of Towers,         110   "
  Area,                  25,280 square feet.


      *      *      *      *      *      *

Transcriber's Note

   The following obvious typographical errors were corrected:

     Page  Error
     2     the Tower. changed to the Tower.)
     10, fn. 10    St Wilfrid's changed to St. Wilfrid's
     111   ascendency changed to ascendancy
     115, fn. 103  Surtee's changed to Surtees
     118   anyrate changed to any rate
     136   acolyte's Orders changed to acolyte's Orders.

   The following words were inconsistently spelled:

     afterthought / after-thought
     Agnesgate / Agnes-gate
     aisleless / aisle-less
     stonework / stone-work

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