Ripon Hornblowing

Where: Ripon, North Yorkshire - Market Place
When: Every day
Time: 9pm


For hundreds of years, the Wakeman of Ripon has blown his horn daily in the Market Place. He dresses in a uniform with tricorn hat and blows three blasts at each corner of the obelisk at 9pm every day of the year. Originally the Wakeman was appointed by the church to keep the peace (a sort of early policeman) but now he is appointed by the Mayor of the town and can be seen performing his civic duties at other local events like the St Wilfrid Feast in July. He gives an entertaining history of the custom when his duties are done for the day, and on days when the Mayor isn’t at home the Wakeman also blows his horn at the Town Hall steps opposite the obelisk.

Helpful Hints

Look out for the original Wakeman’s House in the Market Place; the horn is kept in the nearby Town Hall when not in use. The obelisk has a horn weathervane on top. You may be given a wooden penny for luck at the end of the ceremony – if the Hornblower is short of supplies you can buy one by post.

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