Picture Post: Turbulence, conspiracy and a tale of survival at Ripley Castle

Hidden in the North Yorkshire countryside just three miles from Harrogate is the Grade I listed Ripley Castle.

PIC: James Hardisty

The 14th century house, visible over the tranquil water pictured, has been the seat of the Ingilby Baronets for centuries.

Those who have walked its corridors and wandered through its gardens have each contributed to a vast history of political, military, religious and social turbulence, of plague and persecution, of Renaissance, enlightenment and industrial revolution.

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Of numerous notable residents, perhaps one of the most interesting is Sir William Ingilby. In 1603 he played host to James VI of Scotland when the King was en route to his coronation as James I of England. By 1605 however, Sir William’s loyalties had changed.

With Bonfire Night just around the corner, it is fitting to remember the role the house and its family played in the infamous Gunpowder Plot.

The Ingilbys were complicit in the conspiracy to kill King James: nine of the 11 known conspirators of the plot were close relations or associates with the family.

After allowing the plotters to stay at Ripley while they procured horses, Sir William was arrested and charged with treason.

Luckily for the Ingilbys and the castle, however, he was acquitted of the indictment and escaped the fate of being hung, drawn and quartered.

Today, the Ingilby family celebrates over 700 years at Ripley Castle – a rare achievement for any family.

With countless generations living out their lives within its walls, all of those letters and documents that tend to get lost or destroyed over the years have survived at Ripley Castle.

These records give a unique narrative of the family’s history, their births, marriages and deaths.

They show how the family survived despite plagues, civil wars, religious and political conspiracies and even periods of dire economic hardship.

Now open to the public all year round, the historic attraction offers tours of the house and grounds.

Technical details: Nikon D4s, 12-24mm lens with an exposure of 1/320th sec @ f/5.6. ISO 100.