The obelisk in Ripon marketplace
Artist: Grimm, Samuel Hieronymus
Medium: Ink wash on paper
This obelisk was built in 1781 to mark the 60 years local landowner William Aislabie of Studley Royal had served as a Member of Parliament. Daniel Defoe, who visited Ripon in the early 18th century, wrote, "Ripon is a very neat, pleasant, well built town, and has not only an agreeable situation on a rising ground between two rivers, but the market place is the finest and most beautiful that is to be seen of its kind in England".
He also speaks of an earlier obelisk, "In the middle of it stands a curious column of stone, imitating the obelisks of the antients, tho' not so high, but rather like the pillar of the middle of Covent Garden, or that in Lincoln's Inn, with dials also upon it".