Religion, Time and Memorial Culture in Late Medieval Ripon

Religion, Time and Memorial Culture in Late Medieval Ripon

Stephen Werronen


Royal Historical Society



An examination of changes in religious practice over the course of the long fourteenth century.
Ripon Minster was St Wilfrid's church, and its vast parish at the edge of the Yorkshire dales was his domain, his memory living on among the people of his parish centuries after his death. Wilfrid was a saint for all seasons: his three feast days punctuated the cycle of the agricultural year and an annual procession sought his blessings on the growing crops each May. This procession brought together many of the parish's earthly lords - the clergy and the gentry - as they carried the relics of their celestial patron. In death they hoped that they too would be remembered, and so remain a part of parish society for as long as their tombs survived or prayers were said for them in the church of Ripon.
This book charts the developments in the practice of religion, and in particular the commemoration of the deceased, from the late fourteenth to the early sixteenth centuries in this important parish. In particular, it shows how the twin necessities of honouring the minster's patron saint and remembering the parish dead had a profound effect on the practice of religion in late medieval Ripon, shaping everything from the ritual calendar to weekly and daily religious routines. It provides, moreover, insights into the state of English religion on the eve of the Reformation.

Stephen Werronen completed his PhD at the University of Leeds and is currently a visiting researcher at the Arnamagnæan Institute, University of Copenhagen.


June 2017
4 black and white illustrations
212 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Royal Historical Society Studies in History New Series
ISBN: 9780861933457
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Royal Historical Society
BISAC HIS037010, REL015000
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Table of Contents

St Wilfrid, patron of the minster and parish
The minster clergy
The minster and its parishioners: the living
The ritual year of the minster and parish
The minster and its parishioners: the dead

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