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RIPON: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1829.

"RIPON, a market-town and ancient borough, in the parish of its name, liberty of Ripon and wapentake of Claro, is 208 miles from London, 68 from Manchester, 25 from Richmond, 12 from Knaresborough, 11 from Harrogate, and 6 from Boroughbridge. The town is pleasantly situated between the river Ure and the small river Skill, not far from their confluence : over the former of these rivers there is a handsome bridge of seventeen arches, and within little more than a mile there are five other bridges over these rivers. Ripon obviously derives its name from its situation on the Ripa, or bank of a river. It is a corporate borough, and received its first charter in the reign of Alfred the Great, and returns two members to parliament, who are elected by those holding burgage tenures: the mayor is the returning officer, and the present members, are Sir K. H. Inglis, Bart. and L. H. Petit, Esq. The mayor, recorder, twelve aldermen, and twenty-four common council-men form the corporate body, in whom is vested the civil government of the town. Ripon was once celebrated for the manufacture of spurs of a superior quality-hence the old proverb, when speaking of a man of integrity, ' He is true steel as Ripon rowells' This trade has declined, and the principal productions of the place are linens, and saddle trees, and there is a considerable varnish manufactory. The places of worship here are the minster, dedicated to St. Wilfred, a noble Gothic structure, finished about the beginning of the fifteenth century; Trinity church, built in 1826-7, at the sole expense of the Rev. Edward Kelvington; and four chapels, belonging to the Methodists. This was originally a bishopric, but it is now a deanery, in the patronage of the king. Here is a free grammar school, and several other excellent charitable institutions afford to the younger branches of the poor clothing and education; the aged and infirm find shelter and supporting several well endowed hospitals, and a dispensary yields medical aid to all who ask it. A neat theatre was built in 1792, by the late George Hassel, Esq. and opened in the same year. The air of this part is salubrious and pleasant, and the surrounding country well wooded, highly cultivated, and interspersed with a variety of gentlemen's seats and picturesque villages. An excellent market is held every Thursday, abounding with every kind of agricultural produce, and the fairs are the Thursday after the 13th of January, May, 13th and 14th, the first Thursday and Friday in June, Thursday after the 2nd of August, first Thursday in November, and the 23rd of November for cattle, hardware, cloth, &c. By the census for 1821, the liberty of Ripon contained 12,131 inhabitants, of which number at that period 4,563 were of the town."


"PATELEY BRIDGE, is a small market-town, in the parish of Ripon and wapentake of Claro, West riding, nine miles northwest of Ripley, situated on the river Nidd, near the limits of Craven, and derives considerable prosperity from the lead mines in the neighbourhood, besides the manufacture of some linen goods. The archbishop of York is lord of the manor, and holds a court leet twice in the year. The place of worship here is a chapel of ease, under Ripon, dedicated to. St. Mary the living is a perpetual curacy, in the gift of the dean and chapter of Ripon, and incumbency of the Rev. Thomas Humphrey Stoney. Besides the river Nidd, there is a small stream that passes near to the town, upon which corn and flax mills are worked. The land around here is mountainous, the values fertile and productive, and the views extensive. The market-day is Saturday; and the fairs are at Easter and Whitsuntide, September 17th, and the Monday after October 10th. There were no returns made for this town at the last census."

[Transcribed from Pigot's National Commericial Directory for 1828-29 ]
by Colin Hinson ©2007