An Easter Adventure in North Yorkshire – Day 2.

Welcome back!

After the previous day’s adventures we got out not so bright or early…

In an attempt to avoid the bank holiday crowds heading to the seaside and the moors (Scarborough was due to be the busiest seaside town in England, apparently), we drove inland to the lovely little town of Richmond set halfway between the North York Moors and the Yorkshire Dales National Parks.

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Richmond from the top of the keep with the River Swale and one of the towns churches

The main reason for going to Richmond was, unsurprisingly for us, a castle. The building of Richmond Castle, nestled at the edge of the town centre in a bend of the river Swale, was begun in the 1070’s by Alan Rufus ‘the Red’, after he’d been awarded the lands as a ‘thank you’ for his support in the Battle of Hastings. Most of what can been seen today was constructed in the 1080’s when the castle was rebuilt in stone – in fact Richmond has the most surviving 11th century architecture and stonework of any castle in the UK.

 

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The 12th Century Keep and the block that was rebuilt in the early 1900’s as a prison
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The 11th Century buildings nestled high up on the Swale valley

Some of the buildings were added over the next century with the massive keep being built in the 1180’s – it’s seems strange that the keep one was one of the last buildings to be added – normally they’re the first.

 

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The Massive keep dominates everything around it. It’s surprisingly intact inside – and only 100 odd steps to the top! 

In later years it fell into ruin, although it became popular with tourists who left their marks in graffiti. In WWI part of it was converted for use as a prison to hold conscientious objectors.

 

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I’m objecting to having my feet stuck in the toilet… 

As it was a lovely sunny day, we sat in the bailey in the shadow of the walls and had our lunch,  after which Alli and our daughter, Maddie climbed to the top of the massive keep that dominates the rest of the Castle. In the meantime, sharing my son’s feelings that that was rather too energetic after a big meal, I chilled out in the unseasonably warm weather taking it all in, e.g. I feel asleep.

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A view of the ‘Great hall’ from the top of the keep. I was asleep somewhere off to the right…

After they got back and I woke up – we ventured forth to explore the rest of this beautiful Norman castle. There were lots of surviving buildings and rooms to wander around in the bailey.

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The 11th century hall and it’s surrounding buildings
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Welcome!  The doorway at ground level actually lead into the cellar. The Great Hall would have been on the first floor, accessed via an impressive staircase
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View of the cellar and the hall above. You can see the post holes in the wall where the large beams where placed to support the floor
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My lovely wife enjoying exploring the 11th century buildings – we always have great fun reading through the guidebook, working out which bits go where…

One aspect of Richmond that we found quite unusual is the little pleasure garden that was built inside the walls at one end.

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Part of the pleasure garden, if you follow the path past the ornate hedges you reach a large lawn

As we explored we also found a lovely little chapel built into the curtain wall. This had high-backed seats incorporated into the interior walls. It very much reminded us of those in the chapter house (where the unmentionable event happened) of York Minster.

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The seats inside St Nicholas’s chapel – it was wonderfully cool in here

After this Alli took me on a tour of the Keep. It is surprising intact, with several rooms on two floors to explore. The views from the top of the tower were stunning. Richmond itself is a very pretty little market town – it was great to stand and watch the comings and goings on a warm bank holiday. There was a lot of people sitting outside the many cafes and pubs enjoying a cold drink to two (or three).

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The folly overlooking Richmond

We were surprised to see so many spires in the town, and have since learned that one was the local church, one was a Methodist church, another was all that remained of a ruined priory and there was even a folly built by a local lord sometime over the last few centuries. Anyway, it was getting late and the day was coming to an end, so after taking in the view we drifted back down the tower to find where we’d left the kids… (alas we found them)

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We found them somewhere along here…

After leaving the castle (stopping only to buy a bottle of mead) we walked around the town square and then stopped at a nice little cafe for a drink – surprisingly for us it was not one that was alcoholic. It was then, with heavy hearts, that we climbed back into Ratty and headed south for home.

I really liked Richmond, When we do finally move up to Yorkshire, I suspect it’ll become a favourite haunt of ours – great for a quiet afternoon. And a castle…

Farewell my Friends!

P.S. Just before I go, this was a fantastic trip to Yorkshire and although I shall remember it all fondly, nothing was more memorable than that moon over the sea.

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12 thoughts on “An Easter Adventure in North Yorkshire – Day 2.”

  1. The castle was brilliant, but even a medieval nut like me will have to admit that path of moonlight was something else. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Indeed she was, in a maritime heaven, watching the white horses and dreaming of pirates and tall ships.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This looks like the kind of place I would love to wander around and explore for days on end. It’s cool (literally) how the temperature of some of those stone structures can vary so much from “outside.” They are very well insulated. I admire all the lush grounds and clearly someone takes great pride in maintaining all of them. Now, get your feet out of that toilet! Haha. Nice post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. lol! Thanks Tyson! It was a bit of a struggle getting out, I’ve heard of a long drop toilet but that was ridiculous!
      It is an amazing place – it’s SO old! in 2070 it’ll be 1000 years since it was built! The stonework is amazingly cool on a hot day and yes the grounds are great. English Heritage who own it take great pride in their charges.
      Thanks for dropping by! 😀

      Like

  3. The first question I need to ask Stuart is how many bags of square crisps does it take for a man to fall asleep? The second question is whatever happened in the Chapter House in York Minster? and the final question is – are you really moving up to Yorkshire?
    You don’t have to answer any of these questions of course. More to the point, another great blog about you, Ratty and your lovely family. Thanks for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Malcolm – I’m really glad you like reading about our adventures! As for your questions…
      1. I’ve no idea 😀 Nathan seems to eat tons of them and doesn’t fall asleep – perhaps I need to give him more!
      2. Um… Let’s just say that our 8 year old son left out a massive burp in the most acoustic part of the building. We heard it rise up into the roof, as did everyone else…
      3. Yes that’s the plan. Alli is intending to do her MA at York university after she’s finished her degree and our daughter wants to do her A-levels up there, but mind you, we’ve been talking about moving north for years now. Next year it’ll happen.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Enjoyed that, and enjoyed hearing that someone else enjoyed Richmond Castle as much as I do. Another one nearby that you may like is Middleham – big in the Richard III story – and the town/village of Middleham is a peach.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! There’s a lot to like about Richmond – it’s a great place!
      We have been to Middleham a couple of times as well, I agree it’s a superb castle. didn’t spend much time in the town thought so we’ll check it out the next time we’re there.

      Like

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