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672AD

St Wilfrid founds the church of St Peter in Ripon

In the mid-seventh century, St Wilfrid, then abbot of the monastery at Ripon, took the bold step of building a stone basilica with a crypt, so bringing to the kingdom of Northumbria a style of building that he had seen in Rome. The church above-ground has been rebuilt more than once on a grander plan than Wilfrid’s, but his crypt survives intact and has been a very special place for more than 1300 years. It is a national treasure and makes Ripon unique since it is the oldest structure of any English cathedral.

710AD

St Wilfrid Dies

St Wilfrid, who built the stone church at Ripon, with its still-surviving crypt, died in 710. Only four years later, an account of his life was written by a monk, known to us as Stephen of Ripon. He tells us that this was the first church to be built by Wilfrid, and that the church and its monastic community remained the favourite of all of his foundations.

948

Wilfrid’s Church destroyed by Eadred

1069

Destruction of second church during Harrying of the North

1080

Third church built by Archbishop Thomas of Bayeux

1180

Present church built by Archbishop Roger de Pont l’Eveque

Roger de Pont l’Évêque, Archbishop of York 1154-81, set about building a magnificent new church over Wilfrid’s crypt in order to promote pilgrimages to his tomb.

1450

Collapse of part of central tower

1490

Choir stalls carved

Ripon is famed for its misericords, dating from between c.1489 and 1494.

1500

Widening of the nave

1643

Damage by Parliamentary troops

1660

Collapse of central spire

1836

Ripon Minster becomes Ripon Cathedral

Ripon Minster continued as a collegiate church, as established by the 1604 charter of James I, until the nineteenth century, when the first new diocese to be established in England in the post-Reformation period was formed, with Ripon as its cathedral.

1861

Major restoration by George Gilbert Scott

1918

Wilfred Owen in Ripon

2014

Becomes cathedral of Diocese of Leeds