Ripon is one of England's smallest cities, and has a long history that encompasses saints, actors, marquesses, mayors, murderers, writers and eccentrics. Its Hornblower sets the watch each evening in a tradition said to be more than a thousand years old and each year festivities celebrate the return from exile of St Wilfrid in AD 705. Its nineteenth-century workhouse is the most complete one still surviving today, and in the First World War the city was almost surrounded by the country's largest army camp, where Wilfred Owen stayed before his final posting and untimely death. Ripon is full of unexpected historical and architectural surprises, quirky details and the stories of a diverse cast of former Riponians.
In Secret Ripon, local author David Winpenny reveals the secrets of this historic and fascinating city. Disappear down the rabbit hole with one-time resident Lewis Carroll, and reach the heights with England's first free-standing obelisk. Explore Ripon Cathedral, from its Saxon crypt to its modern glass, learn the city's history of law and order (and sometimes disorder) and discover why the very ground beneath your feet is dissolving. Ripon really is a place of secrets.
David Winpenny lives in Ripon and works as a freelance lecturer and writer. He is the author of newspaper and magazine articles, guidebooks and walking guides, and also lectures on many subjects, ranging from stained glass to landscape gardening.