Sunday, 5 January 2014

Ripon, Ledsham and Ledston

It's been six months since I last blogged, I think by June last year I was starting to find walking difficult and sleeping even harder so I had a little less to write about and no motivation to do so. However I'm pleased to say that now I can walk again, although I have a little bundle to carry around with me. Lovernios Aelfric Legard was born on October 17th last year, he has the exploring bug already and we took the opportunity this winter to take him on various ecclesiastical adventures to try and upstage nativity scenes around Yorkshire. Ripon Cathedral was somewhere we'd been meaning to take a closer look at every since we watched the rather wonderful series on the English Church on channel 4. The first episode mentions the Saxon crypt, which has been in use since 672. We were also quite taken by the choir, which has a host of angels carved above us.

The crypt was built as a chamber to hold relics within niches in the wall which now illuminate the dark space.

We spotted quite a few lovely memorials but here are a couple with our favourite motifs, animals and skulls!

The leper chapel in Ripon was our next stop, a short distance away on the sanctuary way. 

The pamphlet we found there told us that the chapel held the remains of a wooden bell, which must have vanished, but we did see the medieval wall paintings and the roman mosaic floor.

Just further east across the Ure, the original sanctuary stone sits at the roadside on our path to Sharow. 

We also called in on Charles Piazzi Smythe - who I've written about previously here.

Yesterday we went to Ledsham to check out the Saxon parts of All Saint's church which has a carved doorway and some original windows in the tower.

The church also had some find alabaster monuments, including one particularly creepy corpse in a winding sheet.

That tomb proved to be of particular interest as the occupant, Lady Bolles, has a peculiar family history. Her father, William Witham, was allegedly killed by a witch's curse - a Mary Pannell who was executed at York and then burnt on a hillside near Ledston Hall which is now named after her.

we noticed this unusual carving in the old part of the church which I have just read on this leaflet that it is the side of a Roman altar built into the wall. 

Just as we were leaving we noticed this stone face peering down at us.

So not yet three months into Verne's life and he's already seen so many exciting things, I'm looking forward to taking him on many more adventures as he grows up. 

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