Picture of the Obelisk and Civic Society Crest Banner: a montage of Ripon architecture
Ripon Civic Society

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28th March 2010
The story of the architect behind Ripon’s historic Market Square obelisk will be told on Thursday 8 April when Nicholas Hawksmoor will be the subject of a talk to Ripon Civic Society.

Dr Ann-Marie Akehurst, an architectural historian from the University of York, will speak about Hawksmoor’s career and his buildings. Hawksmoor was one of Britain’s greatest architects, and he designed the Ripon obelisk – the earliest free-standing obelisk in Britain – in 1702.

Hawksmoor worked on some of the most important buildings of the early 18th century, including Blenheim Palace and Castle Howard, where he designed the mausoleum. He was the architect of some of the finest of London’s churches, among them St Mary Woolnoth and St Anne Limehouse.

Dr Akehurst is a member of the University of York’s, Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies, working on classical and vernacular eighteenth-century architecture. She is also a member of the Yorkshire Country House partnership.

David Winpenny, Chairman of Ripon Civic Society, says, ‘Hawksmoor was especially interested in urban planning, but most of his designs for urban spaces remained unrealised. Ripon is the only place where his ideas can be seen, not only with the obelisk but in the formality of the Market Square. Dr Akehurst’s talk will underline how remarkably fortunate the city is to have a unique monument to the work of this great architect.’

The meeting takes place at Allhallowgate Methodist Church Hall, Victoria Grove, Ripon, on Thursday 8 April, staring at 7.30 pm. There is a charge of £2.00 for non-members.

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