From October 2007 to November 2018 inclusive the Society’s previous Chairman, historian David Winpenny, composed these Heritage articles for publication in the Ripon Gazette, part of the Johnson Press local newspaper Group.

  • SPENDING TIME ON THE TILES

    June 7, 2018 One of the recurring themes of this column is the exhortation for everyone to ‘look up’ as they go around. Raise your eyes above the shopfronts as you walk the streets of any city, town, village or hamlet, and you’ll find interesting architecture and reminders of the history of the place that haven’t been altered ... Read more...
  • ARCHITECTURAL TIME-TRAVEL

    May 31, 2018 ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.’ ‘The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there’. ‘It was a bright, cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.’ No, not another quiz – and you’ll certainly recognise these opening sentences from novels; Dickens’ ‘A Tale of Two ... Read more...
  • THE FUTURE’S ORANGERY

    May 24, 2018 A week ago the refurbished Orangery at Newby Hall was officially opened. Now full restored, it is an elegant and welcoming space, ideal for all sorts of events – and already has quite a lot of bookings. The plan for the Orangery was initially sketched out by William Weddell, Newby Hall’s owner, in the second half ... Read more...
  • DISTANT PROSPECTS

    May 17, 2018 Here’s your starter for ten; from which poem do the lines ‘where ignorance is bliss, / ‘Tis folly to be wise’ come? Full marks if you answered ‘Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College’ by Thomas Gray. It’s a poem that looks back at Gray’s own Eton school days and contrasts the innocence of the ... Read more...
  • FROM STIG OF THE DUMP TO THE DRUIDS – MASSIVE STONE CONSTRUCTION

    May 10, 2018 Stone is one of the essentials of many buildings – and this column deals, almost exclusively, with architecture. But stone can also have religious overtones; Jesus Christ himself was spoken of as ‘the stone which the builders rejected’ who became the ‘cornerstone’. The Temple in Jerusalem is a stone structure that has always held a ... Read more...
  • FREDERICK VYNER – A NOBLE ENGLISHMAN MURDERED BY BRIGANDS

    May 3, 2018 Ripon is fortunate to have on its doorstep two of Yorkshire’s most remarkable Victorian churches – linked by an extended family and by a family tragedy. Christ the Consoler, Skelton-on-Ure, and St Mary the Virgin, Studley Royal, were built in the early 1870s – the former to commemorate the life of Frederick Vyner of Newby Hall, ... Read more...
  • THE MPs’ JAPANESE TEAHOUSE – AND OTHER EXOTICS

    April 19, 2018 David Cameron on 12 September 2016. Boris Johnson on 4 June 2008. Peter Mandelson on 8 September 2004. Robert Kilroy Silk on 1 October 1986. Ian Paisley and Enoch Powell, both on 17 December 1985. To this list of illustrious (or otherwise) MPs, we might add two for Ripon, Christopher York (12 February 1954) and Sir ... Read more...
  • LAW AND ORDER ON THE GREEN PLAQUES

    April 12, 2018 This week we take another dip into the green plaques that Ripon Civic Society has put up in the city, with three buildings that are part of Ripon’s ‘Law and Order’ trail. THE HOUSE OF CORRECTIONOn 3 November 1629 the Mayor and Aldermen of Ripon petitioned the Archbishop of York, Samuel Harsnett, who held the legal ... Read more...
  • RAISING THE VOICE OF PROTEST

    April 5, 2018 ‘Is then no nook of English ground secure / From rash assault?’ demanded William Wordsworth in 1844. The target of his ire was, as the title of his sonnet that begins with these lines, makes clear, ‘On the projected Kendal and Windermere Railway’. The poet’s Cumbrian fastness was threatened, and he didn’t like the idea at ... Read more...
  • COLVIN’S DIRECTORY – VITAL INFORMATION FOR ARCHITECTURAL HISTORIANS

    March 29, 2018 Before the days when you could look up anything and everything on line, and when Wikipedia was not even a glint in the eyes of Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger, if we needed information we relied hugely on books. For architectural historians, there was an increasing number of specialist volumes that could be consulted – histories ... Read more...

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