This year, we decided to make use of the good weather and see Ripley in a different light, at a different season. (Click here for my 2012 post if you want to compare pictures.)
We went by bus, which takes about 20 minutes, and then spent most of the day there. Neither of us felt particularly inclined to go inside the castle again; we were much more interested in looking at the grounds and walled gardens, and to see how different they were on a sunny day in August as opposed to what felt like a rather wintery day on our first visit.
Before entering the grounds via the ticket office/gift shop, we had a look round the church. Last time, I don't think we went inside.
The first written mention of a church at this place is from the year 675. Most likely, it was a wooden building; no traces of it remain. The stone church was begun in about 1390. It was enlarged, renovated and altered considerably in the 16th and 18th century. The Victorian era saw a strong tendency to return to what were (often erroneously) believed to be the medieval looks of a place, and All Saints of Ripley was no exception. Apparently, though, the Victorian renovation works here were done rather well, rediscovering the original round shape of the pillars (which had been plastered over to make them octagonal), the lower height of the floor and some other architectural features.
I liked the ceiling, and the patterns of coloured sunlight from the stained glass windows on the floor made for a rather special atmosphere.
We were now ready to explore the grounds of Ripley Castle - but you'll have to wait until tomorrow to see those pictures.