Ripon Cathedral, Yorkshire

Ripon has never been on my list of places that I want to visit but when we realised that we were just a few miles away from the city, during our recent trip to Yorkshire, we thought we might as well take a look at it. It’s actually a really lovely cathedral, and I don’t much go for big religious structures, but this one has a good atmosphere, almost as friendly as Durham.

As yesterday was Hallowe’en, that makes today All Saints’ Day, so it seems apt to have a cathedral post today. I’m not madly keen on organised religion but I always like to have a look at the local churches.

Ripon Cathedral

This is the front door from the inside and as you can see they’ve added some modern glass underneath the medieval stained glass windows. Unfortunately the glass never seems to look half as good in photos as it does in real life. You don’t have to pay to go in to the cathedral but obviously they’re keen on donations as it costs such a lot to keep it standing.

front entrance stained glass

I remember when I was reading someone’s review of Trollope’s Barchester books that they didn’t understand all the church politics, and didn’t know the difference between high and low church. Well, this is high church, often referred to as ‘smells and bells’ because apart from the very ornate decor ‘high’ means the use of bells and incense at particular times during the church service. It’s almost indistinguishable from Roman Catholoic, although this is of course a Church of England cathedral.

I love stained glass, it’s the colours that get me, somehow they always seem so much more vibrant in backlit glass than at any other time. This is quite a modern window and as you can see, the altar cloth is also modern but a beautiful design, quite three dimensional which doesn’t quite show up in the photo.

a side altar +stained glass

aRipon Cathedral, Yorkshirefront altar and figures

Ripon Cathedral has definitely been a patron of the arts over the years. The side chapel below has really wonderful textural metal work, as you can see. They were busy setting up an art exhibition at the time we were there, it seems to be quite a hub of the community, which you can’t say of all cathedrals.

a side chapel modern art

Yet another altar, the original I would think, and more stained glass.

stained glass in Ripon Cathedral, Yorkshire

This one is a very small window but I think it’s quite unusual to see stained glass in shades of yellow and green and it looked really zingy wth the sun coming through it.

stained glass in Ripon Cathedral, Yorkshire

10 thoughts on “Ripon Cathedral, Yorkshire

  1. Stained glass is just beautiful, I think, and I’m never satisfied with my photos. Yours have come out well – the modern glass at the front entrance looks so crisp and clear as well.

    I remember being taken aback when we visited Canterbury Cathedral as it was as though we were entering a museum with a sort of kiosk where you pay to go in. You have to pay unless you are attending a service.

    • Margaret,
      I don’t think it’s possible to capture the full beauty of the stained glass in a photo.

      You have to pay to go into York Minster too and Durham Cathedral was free when we went there last year but a friend told me that they are charging now. It means that the Evensong service is very well attended as it’s the only way you can get in without paying. They have so many Harry Potter fans who would visit anyway, but maybe they didn’t donate much. I suppose the churches were always keen on making money but it feels wrong somehow.

  2. What beautiful stained glass! I love stained glass, too. You’d love Trinity Church in Boston. It has spectacular stained glass by John La Farge, Edward Burne-Jones, and William Morris, stained glass with that deep, glowing Medieval blue glass which is a favorite of mine. Trinity was only built in the late 1800’s, so it’s not ancient like your churches, but it’s very traditional in style and lovely.

    There’s an interesting story about damage to the church when the new John Hancock tower was built next to it in the early 1970’s. All the ground in Back Bay was once marsh & mud, filled to build on. The weight of the 60-story tower caused subsidence (you know all about that!) and the church got cracks. (In addition to damaging the church, the windows used to fly out of the skyscraper when it was windy! They’ve fixed that problem but it was pretty dicey for a while!)

    • Joan,
      I don’t know why they build on dodgy land, we once looked at a house which was built on a sort of raft of foundations – not my idea of solid ground.

      It’s those deep colours which I love about the glass, it’s a shame it doesn’t come out so well in photos. We have a church here which has some lovely Burne-Jones windows but the older ones are every bit as good too. There’s a church in nearby Dollar which has wonderful purple glass in a window, I was so busy talking to a woman about it that I forgot to take a photo!

      I love the internet – I just googled Trinity,Boston and got to the windows – fab!

  3. Really beautiful! I love the metal work – seems very unexpected among all that stone and glass, but looks spectacular.

    I so enjoy the photos of your jaunts – hope you keep them coming!

    • Anbolyn,
      For some reason ancient and modern go well together in the cathedral.

      I’m glad you enjoy them as there are lots more jaunts to come – when I eventually sort out the photos!

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