Minsters & Monasteries: Ripon Cathedral and Fountain Abbey
A study to mark Ripon Cathedral's 1350th anniversary
Enjoy a delightful day roaming the powerhouses of medieval North Yorkshire, set amongst the beauty of the rolling landscape. We commence at Ripon Cathedral where we are engulfed in 1350 years of history. Taking a guided tour, we hear all about the former Benedictine monastery built by St Wilfrid in the mid-7th century, heavily inspired by his trips to Rome, and about the crypt laden with relics which still survives as one of the oldest surviving structures in any cathedral in the country. Then, we hear how after neighbouring York set their sights on a new cathedral in the fashionable Gothic style, Ripon followed suit with Roger de Pont l’Évêque, Archbishop of York 1154-81, constructing a magnificent new church over Wilfrid’s crypt to promote pilgrimage. We’ll visit all of this, including an exclusive high parts tour usually inaccessible to visitors, and you’ll peer into the magical world of the Middle Ages, gazing upon Ripon’s famed 15th-century misericords (mercy seats), carved with a host of mythological creatures, some vivacious and some vulgar—and some the inspiration of local boy, author Lewis Carroll.
In the afternoon we take a short trip to the largest and best-preserved ruined Cistercian monastery in England: Fountains. A guided tour of the 12th-century abbey is first, including the medieval water mill, and the Jacobean mansion of Fountains Hall, before we enjoy the abundance of delights that the landscape boasts. We will take a stroll around one of the most magnificent Georgian water gardens and pleasure grounds ever created which surrounds the abbey ruins known as Studley Royal. Here we visit its numerous follies and the Victorian masterpiece that is St Mary’s Church, designed by William Burges in 1870.
Extremely positive! Sue was excellent and welcoming and the expertise of Dr Emma Wells made the experience memorable. Ms Perriotte Minsters & Monasteries: Ripon Cathedral and Fountains Abbey , July 2022
Tour dates & prices
Included in your cost:
- Expert Guide Lecturer
- Professional Tour Manager
- Entries to all sites as per the itinerary