Meet The Hornblower
Where ? - The Obelisk, Ripon Market Place
When ? - Mon 30th July 20:50-21:30
What ? - Your chance to witness the longest ongoing tradition in the world !
Ripon's Hornblower - The ceremony where The Wakeman sets the watch in Ripon has been performed every single night since 886AD.
Meeting at the obelisk on the Market Place at 8.50 pm, come and witness this old tradition. Parking is free after 6 pm, please see parking waypoints. The Hornblower will blow his horn at 9 pm. You will be able to claim a virtual cache here too, GCH94D
OPTIONAL - at 7.30 pm, Ripon Museums are providing a Ripon Ghost Walk, exploring the darker side of the historic City of Ripon, hearing tales of ghouls and ghostly goings on around every corner! The guides will make sure we are back in time for the Hornblower. There is a small charge of £2 for this. Please book via our Mega shop, as the guides will need to know approximate numbers.
When King Alfred the Great came to Ripon in 886, he liked the settlement so much he decided to grant a Royal Charter to it. The only thing he possessed to offer the people as a symbol of the charter was a horn! The King appointed a Wakeman to patrol the area from dusk until dawn to ensure the safety of its inhabitants. It was decided that this Wakeman would sound the horn at the 4 corners of the Market Cross each evening at 9 pm, to let them know the watch was set and that he was now on patrol.
In 1604, James I elected a Mayor, Mr. Hugh Ripley. He lived in the house which still stands, at the SW corner of the Market Square. The mayor made the new rule that, after setting the watch at the Market Cross, the Wakeman must find the Mayor, wherever he may be in the city, sound the horn 3 times in front of him, raise his hat, bow his head and say the words "Mr Mayor, the watch is set." That ritual is still carried out at 9 o'clock every night and has not been missed, not for 1 night, in over 1,100 years!
This event has been placed as part of the week of caching fun around The 10th Anniversary UK Mega Event - Yorkshire 2018