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Pictures of Richmond Castle

a Castle in the town of Richmond, in the county of North Yorkshire

Take a picture tour of Richmond Castle..

About Richmond Castle

This castle, occupying a dramatic cliff-top site above the River Swale, led a fairly quiet life without any military action to cause defect. The fact that it is in a ruinous state is entirely due to neglect from the 16th-century onwards. Once it was recognised that there was no military purpose for the castle, it was simply left to fall into a state of decay.

Richmond Castle is a very interesting castle and has some quite early remains. The site on which it stands belonged to Edwin, Earl of Mercia, but later, following the Conquest it was granted to Alan the Red of Brittany at about 1080, and he was responsible for the early building works.

Scollards Hall, the hall block of the castle situated in a corner of the courtyard, is believed to be the oldest castle hall in England. It was built soon after the initial building of the exceptionally thick curtain walls, which are triangular in build to follow the oddly shaped site on which the castle stands. Before the keep was built, the hall would probably been used for storage, or as a servants hall. The solar, or withdrawing room was reached via a flight of steps at the castle's eastern end.

The most prominent feature left of Richmond Castle is its great keep. It is thought this may have been added in the 12th-century, possibly by Henry II. This was built as an upwards extension of the original gatehouse, thus the fine 11th-century archway is very well preserved.

This is a romantic, atmospheric site, where it is easy to imagine how grand this historic place would have looked in its "hey-day" when the countryside was more peaceful than it is now. However, from the top of the keep and castle walls there are fantastic views of Richmond, the Swale and surrounding countryside.

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