Things Ancient & Modern

Hymns Ancient & Modern was the name of the hymn book I sang from in my chorister days, so-called because the 500 plus songs it held included traditional (though hardly ancient) and more contemporary melodies.  It occurred to me while I was in Ripon Cathedral that the descriptor was perhaps more appropriately applied to the … Continue reading Things Ancient & Modern


Assumption and Contradiction

I'd been to Ripon Cathedral only once before; part of a whistle-stop school history trip which took in Mount Grace Priory, Fountains Abbey, and Ripon.  (Rievaulx Abbey might also have been on the itinerary but after 45 years my memory of the day is fading).  Naturally with such a tight schedule each location visited was … Continue reading Assumption and Contradiction

Early Eccentric

Just a few weeks after my visit to Hexham and I find another great church with 7th century origins.  From the side elevation Ripon Cathedral even shares a similar look due to the squat tower at the centre, though once you understand the history of the building then you'll understand that there was no plan … Continue reading Early Eccentric

Visitors Welcome

Ripon, like many cathedral cities, was one of the early beneficiaries of tourism. Pilgrims would come to see the relics brought back from Rome and part with cash for food and accommodation. We'll see in later posts whether the cathedral was worth the visit (hint - would I be here otherwise?) but for now I … Continue reading Visitors Welcome

Gatesville NY*

You know you're in a town with a bit of history when you see street names ending in "gate". In Durham there's Framwellgate, Milburngate, Crossgate and Gilesgate for example. In the location I visited were a few more, including a pretty classy place for a fish and chip shop. Now you'd be forgiven for thinking … Continue reading Gatesville NY*

Sea and Land

Back in my younger days my inner nerd was satisfied by hours spent on Sunday afternoons playing Dungeons & Dragons (coincidentally with the same George Mitchell mentioned in my last Merseyside post). One particular session comes back to me, as a combination of elements gave it added resonance. The Lichway was set at the extremity … Continue reading Sea and Land

Referenced in Song

I've some things in common with Tony Corbell, the award-winning photographer. We both shoot with Canon, we're both heavily involved with training and photography; it's just that for him the latter is his main wage earner and the former is something he believes in very strongly; sharing knowledge and experience. Those roles are reversed for … Continue reading Referenced in Song