Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Richmond Castle (Richmond)

Richmond Castle is a massive edifice that dominates the historic and romantic town of Richmond in North Yorkshire.

In a strategically important position on cliffs above the River Swale, the fastest flowing river in England, the castle was built in the years following the Norman Conquest, when this was frontier country. It was one of the first castles to be built in England.

It was built by Alan Rufus, a kinsman of William the Conqueror, and for centuries his successors, the Earls of Richmond, had an important part to play in the affairs of the realm. It was an Earl of Richmond, Henry Tudor, who defeated Richard III near Market Bosworth, and took the crown as Henry VII.

Among those imprisoned in this mighty fortress was William the Lion, King of Scotland.

During the First World War, when Robert Baden Powell was in charge of the castle, conscientious objectors were imprisoned here.

The keep rises to an impressive 109 feet, and the curtain walls and towers are largely intact. There are superb views over the river from Castle Walk, which was created as a promenade for well heeled tourists in the18th century.

An old story about Richmond Castle concerns one Potter Thomson, who was led by a mysterious stranger to a cavern deep underground, where King Arthur and his knights lay sleeping. Thompson had the opportunity to awaken them, but fled in terror, so they still sleep beneath the castle.

Today, Richmond Castle is in the care of English Heritage.

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