1,349-year-old crypt in Ripon Cathedral reopens to the public


Last updated Aug 12, 2021
Ripon Cathedral crypt. Pic credit: Andy Marshall
Ripon Cathedral crypt. Pic credit: Andy Marshall

Ripon Cathedral’s crypt, which is the oldest surviving building in any English cathedral, reopened to the public today.

The Anglo-Saxon crypt, which is the highlight of many people’s visits to the cathedral, was built by St Wilfrid as part of the stone church he erected in the 670s. It is believed to be a copy of the tomb in which Jesus’ body was laid after crucifixion.

The crypt has been closed to the public since March last year due to covid but is now open to visitors between services from 9.30am until 5pm.

Next year will mark 1,350 years since the construction of the crypt in 672.

Joe Priestley, marketing officer at the cathedral, told the Stray Ferret some clergy had occasionally used the crypt for private prayer and services during the last 17 months but its small confines were not compatible with social distancing requirements. He added:

“People do find it to be a very moving space.”

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