Ripon Town Hall was built in 1799 as an assembly room by James Wyatt for Mrs Elizabeth Allanson, granddaughter of John Aislabie the creator of Studley Royal Water Garden. The elegant building sits on the south side of the Market Place, described by Daniel Defoe as the 'finest in England'. This Wyatt building is one of the few commissions he received in the north of England and is probably the most complete left in Yorkshire.
This is a small collection in which the works were mostly given by local worthies in the 19th century or purchased by the Corporation of Ripon in the early 20th century. The works have been recently cleaned and re-varnished. Provenance information is incomplete but sufficient exists to make this locally sourced and locally focussed collection interesting.
The portrait of John Aislabie, Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1718 and principal sponsor of the infamous South Sea Company, is reputed to be by Sir James Thornhill, and is a larger version of that by Charles Jarvis in the National Portrait Gallery (NPG). Sir Thomas Lawrence was thought to be the artist of the fine oil of Frederick John Robinson, Earl of Ripon, but Paul Cox of the NPG suggests that it is by W. B. Robinson.
This location is open to the public
Market Place South, Ripon, North Yorkshire, England, HG4 1DD
If you are planning a visit to see a particular painting, check with the location first. Paintings can be moved at short notice