Ripon and Church of Christ the Consoler Heritage Tour

Saturday 10 May
Coach leaves Northwich Memorial Hall at 8.30am
Other pick-ups available

The City of Ripon clusters round its central marketplace in time-honoured fashion. The central obelisk, some 90ft (27m) tall, has stood in the centre of the square for over 300 years. The nightly Wakeman ceremony takes place at the foot of the obelisk every evening at 9pm. (Click here to watch ceremony).

Ripon Cathedral was begun in the 7th century when Saint Wilfrid built one of England's first stone churches on this site. Within the nave and choir, you can see the evidence of 800 years in which master craftsmen have expressed their faith in wood and stone. Today's church is in fact the fourth to have stood on the site although the original Saxon crypt, famed as the earliest complete Saxon crypt north of the Alps, has survived virtually intact. Saint Wilfrid brought stonemasons, plasterers and glaziers from France and Italy to build his great basilica in AD 672. Nearby is the Thorpe Prebend House Heritage Centre which houses some 50 exhibits which unveil the story of Ripon and the Cathedral over the centuries.

The Prison and Police Museum complex of buildings in St Marygate served Ripon as the House of Correction for Vagrants (1686-1816), Liberty Prison (1816-1878) and Police Station (1887-1956). The Museum first opened in 1984 and reopened in 2004 following a complete refurbishment.

Discover what being the Liberty of Ripon meant at the Courthouse Museum and learn about what happened in a courtroom in the 1800s.

Ripon Workhouse was almost a self sufficient world of its own with its own teacher, chaplain and doctors, chopping its own fire wood, doing its own laundry, growing its own vegetables, having its own infirmary and its own van to transport lunatics to asylums elsewhere if they became unduly violent. Today you can walk in the steps of the Victorian pauper and visit the restored 1890's kitchen garden.

We finish the day at the Church of Christ the Consoler. With its colourful and vibrant interior, this Victorian church seems the very celebration of life, yet it stands as a testament to tragedy. It is a memorial to Frederick Vyner who, age 23, was captured and murdered by brigands in Greece in 1870. His mother used the money collected for his ransom to commission British architect William Burges - celebrated for decorating Westminster Palace and rebuilding Cardiff Castle - to design this church (built 1871-76) in the grounds of her home at Newby Hall.

Click here for map of Ripon City Centre.

Click here to book tickets