Sunday, 1 June 2008

*Griffons, Rabbits and Wonderland Tales*

We took ourselves off to Ripon on Friday for a day out and a shopping trip ~ mainly for me to do a bit of thrifting elsewhere for those elusive candlesticks that I want, but alas I came home empty handed!!!

But on our way to the Spa Gardens we passed this swimming baths, and of course I couldn't resist a photo! How grand is this? Fabulous, don't you think? This top photo was the front and the photo below was the side. I didn't take the bottom half of the building as there were lots of cars parked outside as it is a used swimming baths and so with it being half term lots of children accompanied by their mummys & daddys were being taken for a bit of fun.

Imagine what it would have been like in the old days, doing a spot of swimming and then wandering out for a leisurely stroll through the Spa Gardens, lovely.

We also wandered up the road leading up to the Cathedral as I used to sell jewellery in a shop there over 4 years ago now, but we couldn't see it so it must have gone, it is full of lovely cafes and eateries now!

Anyhoo we headed off into the Cathedral, we were welcomed by a little old lady handing out leaflets which told you all about the Cathedral and so we took our map and went to explore!

I was particularly interested in the choir stalls as they had beautiful hand carved images into the wood and our leaflet told us to look at the end seat as there we would find a Griffon chasing a rabbit, whilst another rabbit hides down his hole! This is of particular interest as it is believed to have inspired Lewis Carroll for Alice in Wonderland as his father was the Cannon in the Cathedral. We found it, but unfortunately I didn't take any photos as I wasn't sure if I was allowed to in the Cathedral!

A nearby church to us also has a connection to Lewis Carroll as his father was Rector of the church and Archdeacon of Richmond from 1843-1868. Historians believe Lewis Carroll's Cheshire Cat in the book Alice in Wonderland was inspired by a carving in the church too.

I love things like this, little secrets! My friend lives just near to this church so the next time I pop in to see her, I will see if I can nip inside and get a photo of the carving!!
Wish me luck!


  1. Those swimming baths do look grand!

    I loved the Alice in Wonderland "secrets!

    Victoria xx

  2. Some lovely spots and stories.

    I live near a church that has an Alice in Wonderland connection too. The All Saints church in Daresbury, a short walk from my house has a stain glassed window which depicts scenes from Alice in Wonderland. The reason? Lewis Caroll was born and grew up in the village. Lots of the places mentioned in the books are actually real local places which is kind of weird, but also cool at the same time.

  3. Hee hee - I grew up in Ripon and my parents still live there and yes I used to swim in the baths as a youngster. The inside is incredible too although they are trying to build a new baths in Ripon and it is being fiercely opposed as you might imagine! I used to sell my things in a shop leading up to the cathedral too - was it Crafty Beggars?

  4. I love little secrets like that too! Your day sounds perfect, with the exception of the elusive candlesticks!

  5. Alice in Wonderland and churches I never would have thought there would have been a connection. Fascinating stuff Alison.

  6. The swimming baths remind me of where I learnt to swim, its been knocked down now but it was very old fashioned with the changning cubicles around the pool and the smell reminded me of hospitals.
    I love walking around churches, it makes you feel very peaceful and calm....claire x

  7. Such fun...sounds like a magical day out! Happy Days ((HUGS))


Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a message.
Love Alison