The Ripon Hornblower

The Ripon Hornblower
The above photograph appears by kind courtesy of the Ripon Hornblower.

The Ripon Hornblower conducts the ancient ceremony of "Setting the Watch" at 9 p.m. in the evening in Ripon. He does this by sounding the horn at the four corners of the market cross to let the people know it is now safe for sleeping. This was believed to have been the longest unbroken daily ceremony in the world - having been performed continously on a daily basis for over a thousand years since Alfred the Great granted a charter to the City in the form of a horn back in 886.

During lockdown restrictions due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic in 2020 and 2021 the performance in the market square was temporarily curtailed, though the ceremony continued nightly with the watch being set by the horn being blown from the hornblowers' back gardens.

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