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Ripon Obelisk

Free Photos, Ripon, North Yorkshire

Known locally as the 'Central Obelisk' some 27m tall, has stood in the centre of the market square for over 300 years. Each night at 9pm the Wakeman of Ripon performs a horn blowing ceremony at the four corners of the obelisk.

The tradition of the Wakeman of Ripon actually dates back to a time long before the erection of the obelisk, about 1000 years. In times gone by the Wakeman of Ripon was a night watchman and held great power, including the right to hand out instant fines.

The ceremony of horn blowing I am told is a tradition of letting the local people know it is safe to bed down for the night, that there is no sign of invasion and all is well. A kind of 'All's well that ends well'.





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