Ripon is a cathedral, market town located in North Yorkshire. The pre-Ripon history includes the area being controlled by the Brythonic tribe just north of Ripon. The Roman influence of the Ripon area consisted of a military outpost. Ripon was finally settled in its current location with the Christian church of Inhrypum in AD 658. Over 1300 years later the town is still known for its history and architecture.
Though the original cathedral is long gone, the Fountains Abbey was founded in 132 by Benedictine monks that wanted a simpler life. Over the years the property and all its buildings have been sold and passed from hand to hand over the years. The Fountains Hall, which is an Elizabethan mansion, was built partly from the Abbey ruins. Two of the rooms can be toured by visitors. There are also a bunch of family activities, walks, and tours that visitors can enjoy while you are at the Abbey.
Ripon Cathedral is also a favorite site. Built in 1836 this most recent cathedral is the fourth such cathedral to call this site home. The first was built in 672 and then destroyed in 948 with only the crypt surviving. Today you can enjoy the beauty of the 19th century architecture and take in a service during your stay.
For those that want a little outdoor time during your stay in Ripon the Spa Gardens is the place to head. Located in the heart of Ripon, the Spa Gardens is a beautiful park that has been awarded the Yorkshire in bloom award several times over. During the sunny summer Sunday afternoons you can catch a concert in the Victorian bandstand that is located in the cnter of the gardens. Birdwatchers will delight in the many nesting boxes located throughout the gardens which encourage many different types of birds to call the gardens home. The garden is also home to a football pitch, crazy golf, bowling green, and play area.
The town of Ripon is no stranger to museums and even has a few that are a little unique. Located in what used to be the House of Correction is the police and prison museum. The rooms of the museum give visitors a sample of what it was like to be imprisoned during Victorian England. You will also be able to see the different types of police uniforms through the years.
If you can't get enough justice by visiting the Police and Prison Museum then head over to the Courthouse Museum. The museum is housed in the old Courthouse that was built in 1830. Displayed are different justice manuals and guides from the 1700 and 1800s, an audio visual presentation of what cases may have actually been like and portraits of past magistrates.
Once you've toured the prison system it is time for a little more outdoor time. The Ripon Canal is the northern most canals in England. Connecting the River Ure and the Oxlose Lock, the Ripon Canal is located in the center of Ripon. This short canal only runs 2.5 miles and is a great place to take a walk and relax.
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