Ripley Castle & Pateley Bridge

Nestled in North Yorkshire is the interesting village of Ripley. We walked through the town in the late afternoon. It was quiet and tranquil.

Beautiful Cascade
This picture is of the river Nidd in the town of Birstwith. Besides the small water cascades is a footpath that makes up the Nidderdale Way. The way begins at Ripley and encircles the valley of the River Nidd by footpaths, bridleways and country roads, taking a course up one side of the valley and returning down the other.

Ripley isn't a big tourist magnet but it has some very interesting tidbits. Ripley Castle and All Saints Church are found here. Before stopping at the Castle we drove through the village of Ripley. We missed the sign for the Castle... My fault. I was too busy looking at the scenery. It's a beautiful village with a combination of stone cottages and cobbled squares. Since the 1320s Ripley has been the ancestral seat of the Ingilby family when, through marriage, they inherited the manor house with its banqueting hall and chapel. In 1468 Sir John Ingilby decided to build a fortified Gatehouse which helped protect the family through many dangerous times. At one point, during the late 17th century, a David Ingilby was falsely accused of an attempted royal assassination and had to spend the last years of his life evading capture. There was some sort of special event at the Castle the day we visited. It was closed to the public and there were half drunk glasses of wine left by the benches in the parking lot. So we assumed there must have been some fancy party. The Castle actually accommodates receptions and has some very nicely decorated rooms. Impressive.
Ripley Castle

Ripley Castle
In 1583, Francis Ingilby was ordained as a priest, but two years later Elizabeth I declared it a treasonable offence for priests to be present in England. All this had to do with the reformation. Therefore, a secret compartment was made in the Tower especially for Francis to hide himself in times of danger. Sadly, he was unwittingly betrayed and, in 1586, was hung, drawn and quartered. Ghastly. His portrait and prayer book can still be seen in the Knight's Chamber today.

In 1603 King James VI of Scotland stayed at Ripley Castle on his way to London for his Coronation. The Ingilbys did their best to impress the royal visitor, and a magnificent ceiling was installed in the Tower room, which bears King's Arms alongside those of Sir William Ingilby and his wife.

During the Civil War, a group of Royalist prisoners were executed against the Gatehouse wall. The holes made by the musket balls are still visible today.

The picture with the flowers in boots and shoes (preview to a weekend flower show) in the path, is of All Saints Church. It's a 15th century church, rich in history. For example: there are a series of marks on the east wall created by Cromwell's soldiers as they executed Royalist prisoners after the battle of Marston Moor. Also, according to The North Yorkshire Village Book, the village was so decimated by the plague in the 1620s that it had to be virtually rebuilt by one of the Ingilby ancestors, Sir William Amcotts Ingilby, who styled the stone terraced cottages on the villages of Alsace-Lorraine in France. This strange French connection in the heart of Yorkshire simply adds to its charm, as do the stocks and weeping cross in the churchyard.
All Saints Church

Stone Wall
If there is something that is an essence of Yorkshire, it's these dry stone walls. They go on for miles criss-crossing the landscape. The workmanship amazes me. Building these walls is art form.

While driving out in the Dales I spotted this sign. Bedlam: "A place appropriated to the confinement and care of the insane; a madhouse." This is the town. I wonder if the inhabitants (Bedlamians?) are tired of little jokes regarding the town name. Tee Hee.

Gouthwaite Reservoir
This is Gouthwaite reservoir. It is situated three and a half miles upstream of Pateley Bridge and collects water from the River Nidd. This is the compensation reservoir for the two supply reservoirs at the top of the valley. It looks like a tranquil lake.

Pateley Bridge is another wonderful little town that we stopped at on the way to Middleham Castle. 'A woodland clearing near paths' is where busy Pateley Bridge gets its name from. The main feature is the narrow, steep High Street, lined with shops, cafes, art studios, guest houses and pubs. The people take pride in their flowers in this town and in the summer months you can see hanging baskets to flower-filled stone troughs. In fact, Pateley Bridge along with neighbouring Bewerley, has won the Britain in Bloom competition twice.
Pateley Bridge

Oldest Sweet Shop
England's Oldest Sweet Shop can be found in Pateley. This is the picture of the said Sweet Shop. High above the town are the ruins of the medieval St Mary's Church. A chapel was established here before 1321. From the churchyard one has an excellent view of the valley. The churchyard contains some interesting information. Here are the graves of a woman who was almost 120 years old when she died in 1743 and quadruplets born in 1755!

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Jervaulx Abbey

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