The Ripon Hornblower
Ripon, Vale of York

Details for The Ripon Hornblower

The Ripon Hornblower
Welome to Ripon!

Come and visit the wonderful City of Ripon in North Yorkshire and experience a little bit of history when the Ripon Hornblower sounds the horn each night 356 days a year come rain,sun or snow.

The Ripon Wakeman and the ancient ceremony of 'Setting the Watch' has been undertaken by George Pickles the Ripon City Hornblower since 2004.

My role as Ripon City Hornblower is to support the Mayor of the day in all his/her civic duties and above all else to safeguard the continuity of the ancient ceremony of 'Setting the Watch' which has been carried out every evening on the market square without a miss, not for one single day, for 1125 years. It is the longest ongoing unbroken daily ceremony in the world :

'Setting the Watch' dates back to the year 886 when Alfred the Great visited the City in those unsettled and troubled Viking times, and was so impressed by the place itself and the support he was given by the people against the intruders that he decided to grant the community a Royal Charter. As it was a spontanious decision he did not have a parchment scroll or anything of that prepared. All he had to offer them as a symbol of the Charter was a horn. He told them that they should treasure the horn and look after it for ever, and the people did. It is still in safe keeping in the City Town Hall today.

The nightly Ceremony attract visitors from all over the world as well as from every part of the U.K. At the height of summer there could be up to a hundred people there each evening, and in the depth of winter there is always some people looking on.


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The Ripon Hornblower
North Yorkshire

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