Dominating the Ripon skyline, this ancient cathedral has inspired more than one literary hero and has one of the oldest Saxon crypts in the country.
This looming cathedral will enchant anybody who has read the classic children’s book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The author Lewis Carroll was a regular visitor here while his father was canon to the cathedral in the 19th century. Hunt for the weird and wonderful medieval woodcarvings hidden under the choir stalls, which are said to have inspired characters and events in the story. Another famous English writer, First World War poet Wilfred Owen, composed several poems here while recovering from wartime trauma.
It’s easy to see what fired their imaginations. This nearly 1,400-year-old place of worship is as rich in atmosphere as it is in history. One of England’s most controversial saints, St Wilfrid, founded the original church here in 672. Its original crypt remains and is probably the oldest in the country.
Ripon is a small market town, 20 minutes from Harrogate in Northern England.
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