Picture Post: Blessed be the grounds in golden winter light

RIPON Cathedral attracts tourists all year round. But unlike some attractions, it is perhaps at its most picturesque during the winter months.

PIC: Gary Longbottom
PIC: Gary Longbottom

When the windswept beaches are too raw and the Yorkshire Moors are howling with bitterly cold winds, the cathedral stands golden in the crisp winter sunshine.

The trees within the graveyard provide plush greenery in the warmer months, but by November, the colours have an earthier hue. However, the winter weather only adds to the lustre of this magnificent building.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

One of the three co-equal mother churches of the Diocese of Leeds, Ripon Cathedral, like many churches in Yorkshire, is a Grade I listed building.

The site on which the cathedral was founded has been a place of worship for over 1,000 years. A stone church has stood here since 672 AD, when Saint Wilfrid founded one of England’s first ever stone churches.

The west front of the building was originally built in the 13th Century. It was built by Archbishop Walter Grey, who was also responsible for building parts of the magnificent York Minster.

Sadly, only the Saxon crypt remains from the original building.

Inside, there is even more heritage. The pulpit, which is still used for sermons every Sunday, was crafted by Henry Wilson in 1913. Bronze images of four Anglo-Saxon saints adorn the sides of the tall sculpture.

The cathedral has a strong musical tradition and hymns are still played using the towering organ.

Some traditions are worth breaking, though.

The current congregation of Ripon Cathedral can worship sitting on individual chairs – a little more of a contemporary feel than the pews that would have originally been placed inside but perhaps more comfortable.

You don’t have to be religious to find solace in this building. Sometimes, all you need is a brisk walk in some idyllic grounds; and if you do happen to arrive to the sound of a heavenly choir in the background, then so much the better.

Technical details: Nikon D3s camera with a 24-70mm lens at 24mm with an ISO of 250.