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built of wrought or polished stone, and that divers columns and porticos entered into its construction. William of Malmesbury, however, amid the more magnificent erections of after ages, records its curious arches, fine pavements, and winding recesses. Yet these particulars, combined with the fact that Wilfrid brought workmen from Italy who wrought in the Roman manner, and guided by the description Richard, Prior of Hexham, gives of that church, which was built by Wilfrid in 674, will afford us a tolerable idea of the celebrated Monastery of Ripon.
The foundation of this structure seems to have occurred between the first regnal year of King Egfrid, who was present at its consecration, and 678, when that monarch, by the advice of his wife, persuaded Theodore, Archbishop of Canterbury, to depose Wilfrid, who then departed to Rome to receive justice from the Pope. Theodore substituted two bishops in his stead-Bosa having his see at York, and Eata at Hexham or Lindisfarne. At the same time he ordained, at York, Eadhead, Bishop of Sidnacester ; and three years after Wilfrid's departure, placed Trumbert over the church of Hexham, and Tromwine over the province of the Picts *_Eata being removed to Lindisfarne.
Still deeming that a more minute supervision was required, the Church of Ripon was constituted an Episcopal See, and Eadhead, who had returned from Sidnacester, was appointed its Bishop.+
From the continual aim and endeavour of Wilfrid to subject the Saxon kings to the papal influence, he was allowed but brief and occasional enjoyment of his monastery here; yet he outlived or wearied out his most pertinacious adversaries, and, after the synod of Nidd, was allowed to retire here in peace. Shortly after, on a journey, he was taken ill at the Abbey of Oundle in Northamptonshire, where he died on the 12th of October, 711, in the seventy-sixth year of his age; but in obedience to his own particular request, his body was brought to Ripon for interment, where it was deposited on the south side of the altar of his conventual church.
King Athelstane, as I have previously observed, granted certain valuable immunities to the Monastery of Ripon ; the particulars of which are defined in two charters of that monarch, printed in the Monasticon. I presume, however, that both these documents were
* Bedæ Hist. Eccl., L. iv., c. 12, Wheloc, 291. † Ibid.-"Rhipensi Ecclesiæ præfecit,” Ibid. L. iii., c. 28—"Hrypensis Ecclesiæ præsul factus est."
fabrications of much later days,* and framed more in the nature of an inspeximus, than that of an original grant, particularly the one in prose, which is witnessed by “G," or Geoffrey, Archbishop of York,t and natural son of King Henry II. By the rhyming charter, which is a curious specimen of English verse, as written at the end of the thirteenth century, the valuable privilege of Sanctuary was conceded to the church, together with the ordeal of fire and water; freedom from tax and tribute; and other immunities.
The boundary of this place of refuge was marked, at the end of the thirteenth century, by eight crosses circumvallating the church, and called mile crosses ; where, at that period, the Archbishop of York claimed that his bailiffs had the right to meet the homicide, who should flee thither; and, after administering to him the necessary oath, admit him within the privileged jurisdiction. The position of three are only now distinguished. Athelstane's cross was situate on the road between Ripon and Nunwick, by a field still called Athelstane-close. The stump of Archangel cross was lately sunk in the hedge of a lane leading from the Navigation bridge to Bondgate ; and Sharow cross still remains entire in the highway from Ripon to that village. Another nameless cross formerly stood on the further side of Bishopton toll-gate ; but whether one of this series I cannot at present ascertain. The Grithstool that stood in the church, and conferred the last degree of security on its occupant, is now destroyed, and I am unable to say in what part of the choir it stood.
The monastery had no sooner received these valuable immunities than it was doomed to irretrievable destruction ; for in 948 or 950, when King Edred devastated the North, it was destroyed by fire and rendered no longer tenable.
* Mon. Angl., V. i., p. 172.
Camden's Remains, p. 198
6 THE CHAPELLE OF OUR LADY.'
Yet the ruin of the “Old Abbay of Ripon was not entirely abandoned to desolation. A chapel was founded there, no doubt, within the walls of some portion that was left undisturbed-for the ravages of Edred could scarcely have extended to the shell of the building--and Leland has left us the following circumstantial account of what otherwise would have perished irretrievably.
“ The Old Abbay of Ripon,” says he, “stode wher now is a Chapelle of our Lady, in a Botom one close distant by **** from the new minstre.
“One Marmaduke, Abbate of Fountaines, a man familiar with Salvage, Archebishop of York, (1501-7) obteined this Chapelle of hym, and Prebendaries of Ripon : and having it gyven onto hym and to his Abbay, pullid down the est end of it, a pece of exceding auncient Wark, and buildid a fair pece of new Werk with squarid stones for it, leving the west ende of very old werk stonding.
“ He began also and finishid a very fair high waul of Squarid ston at the est. end of the Garth that this chapel stondeth yn: and had thought to have inclosyd the hole garth with a lyke waulle, and to have made there a cell of white monks. There lyethe one of the Englebys in the est end of this chapell, and there lyith another of them yn the chapelle garthe, and in the chapel singith a cantuarie prest.
“One thing I much notid, that was 3 crossis standing in row at the Este Ende of the Chapelle Garth. They were things antiquissimi operis, and monumentes of some notable men buried there, so that of al the old monasterie of Ripon and the toun, I saw no likely tokens left after the depopulation of the Danes in that place, but only the Waulles of our Lady chapelle and the crossis.”
The indefatigable antiquary was, no doubt, correct in his supposition; and little did he imagine, as he viewed the venerable remains that would have thrown a most vivid light on the interesting subject of Saxon architecture, could we now see them as he
did, that in a few years, the “fair pece of new werk, and the pece of exceding auncient wark,” would be involved in one common ruin. The foundation having been suppressed in 1547, the fabric became, no doubt, a quarry for all who were wicked enough to remove remnants of the shattered pile ;” though, I am afraid, the hands of false friends contributed not a little to its demolition. There is now nothing above ground to mark the site. Abbot Huby's wall, which merits Leland's encomium of a fair piece of work, remains, enclosing the “Chapelle garth,” which forms part of the Deanery garden and paddock. I have reason to believe the foundations and outline of the Saxon Monastery might still be traced, and such an operation on a building, whose pre-eminent antiquity is so well ascertained, could not fail to be deeply interesting. Nothing of any importance has been found within memory, except a few small and curious tesseræ of the floor, that were turned up in 1837.
THE CATHEDRAL CHURCH OF ST. PETER AND
OT long after the destruction of Wilfrid's
had pitie on the desolation of Ripon Chirch, and began, or causid a new work to be edified wher the Minstre now is ;” but that no part of this structure then remained. Odo himself, in his preface to Frithgode's Metrical Life of Wilfrid, also informs us that, on visiting the old Monastery, he found the grave of Wilfrid in a state of scandalous and indecent neglect; and removed his bones to a proper receptacle in his Metropolitan Church. This statement has, nevertheless, been questioned.
If the Benedictine monks obtained the benefit of the new erection, they did not retain it long. Between 1060 and 1069 Aldred,