Lepers. 17th August

Ripon Basin

Rain overnight, at 2am it was beating down on the roof so hard that we were both woken up. But luckily it dried up during the morning.

The trip boat from the end of the basin started to do runs past us, a little bit quickly or maybe our ropes just needed tightening. We could hear him saying something about 5.30 yesterday and if we’re lucky we’ll see it today. He must have been mentioning the otter, but going at his speed I think the otter would be staying well away!

Ripon Basin

We still require a plumber to replace a boiler in the house, as the quote we got through seems a touch too pricey and one lead on someone to clear the gutters for us hasn’t come off. So sometime was spent this morning on housey things. Then it was time to have a wonder around.

We walked up to the end of the basin and then past a fish and chip shop who boasted that they do gluten free every day. A touch of a shame we were eating out tonight, maybe another time though.

Ripon Cathedral

The Cathedral sits up a hill, currently there is an exhibition in the nave where 10,000 origami angles have been suspended from a large net. These were all made during lockdown by volunteers in the community, each angle represents a dedication made during the pandemic to keyworkers and loved ones. We thought we’d have a look on our way back out of the city, but our ambling route took us another way.

How did that happen, a Pie Shop!

Our route somehow managed to pass a pie shop, Mick simply had to taste their produce, so a pound pork pie was purchased to be eaten over the next few days. I ventured into Holland and Barrett to stock up on brown rice flour to make crackers with, then a couple of puzzle books were required from WH Smiths. A wander around the Yorkshire Trading Company, but we couldn’t remember what we’d said they would have that we wanted, so it can’t have been that important!

The market square today had something missing, the Cabman’s Shelter a grade 2, once movable hut where the drivers of horse drawn cabs would wait for their next fare. A hunt around on the internet suggests the council maybe have managed to get permission from Historic England for it to be taken for much needed restoration work. Here’s hoping so, sadly I didn’t take a photo of it 6 years ago, so here is one from the Historic England website.

The Workhouse now a museum

We then meandered down Allhallowgate. Here the impressive building of the Workhouse sits, not open on Mondays so we could only look at the exterior.

The Jolly Fryer further down the hill has a yellow bike above it’s door, it’s rider seems to have been waiting quite sometime for his fish and chips. Yellow bicycles are a common sight around parts of Yorkshire since the Tour de Yorkshire was started, I think we spotted a couple more today, one perched on the ridge of a roof.

A sign pointed us away from the city centre and towards the Leper Church, St Mary Magdelenes. The original building dates from the 12th century, the Norman doorway on the south side dates from this period. Many modifications have been made to the building through the centuries. A low narrow window on the north wall is where the lepers could receive the sacrament. There is a 15th Century oak screen and a mosaic set in the floor before the alter, but sadly due to extra cleaning that would be required during the pandemic the church was firmly shut to visitors.

Now those are chimneys

Lepers and blind priests were looked after here and in 1544 the hospital became alms-houses and survived the religious upheavals that followed. New alms-houses were built across the road with their own chapel in 1820, these buildings have wonderful chimneys.

We retraced our steps and walked round the back of the cathedral, passing High Saint Agnesgate and finding our way to a foot bridge across the River Skell with a lovely view back to the cathedral.

River Skell

Tilly had been on lookout for the otter, but there had been no sightings. A trial batch of crackers, cheese mustard and garlic were made as the trip boat came back and forth, we were now part of the commentary and recieved numerous waves.

Highly recommended

Late afternoon we walked back into the city to Prima to meet up with Robert and Margie whom we’d met in Skipton a few weeks ago. Ripon being only an hours drive for them we’d made plans to meet up again. Prima is their favourite restaurant in Ripon and with an earlybird menu it was going to be reasonably priced, even more so with the Chancellor chipping in a third of the final bill (alcohol not included in the Eat out to help out scheme).

Affogato con Ameretto faces

A lovely evening with them both, two meetings in a month. We all enjoyed our food, garlic mushrooms and a goats cheese and spinach pizza each for Mick and myself, one with gluten the other without. We were too full for pudding, but the Halls had paced themselves better and both opted for Affogato con Ameretto, I know one master carpenter who’d have been chomping at the bit for one of these.


0 locks, 0 miles, 2 bags flour, 1lb pie, 2 puzzle books, 1 leper church, 1 cathedral, 2 octogenarians, 2 pizzas, 2 melting chilled medications, 4 glasses of wine, 0 otter sightings, 1 tray of crackers, 1 highlight on the tour, 1 green flagged canal.

6 thoughts on “Lepers. 17th August

  1. Anonymous

    I remember having a look around Ripon Catherdral and I think you may be on “our” mooring 🙂
    Tom & Jan

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