Pictures of Richmond
Richmond is a lovely old market town on the River Swale in North Yorkshire. It lies to the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, and has both history and location, thus attracting visitors for a variety of reasons, not least its accessibility to the dramatic high reaches of the Dales.
The town developed on lands granted to William Rufus by William the Conqueror in 1071. Shortly afterwards, Richmond Castle was built for the purpose of protecting Swaledale against border raids from Scottish raiders. The castle survives to this day, its 100ft tower and partial curtain walls dominate the town. The castle is famed for its medieval latrines and for having the oldest Norman hall in the UK.
Richmond has always been a busy prosperous place, its initial stability came from the heady days of the wool industry when Swaledale was flooded with sheep. This reached its zenith in the 17th and 18th centuries, and on the back of this came the lead industry in nearby Arkengarthdale. A flurry of building took place during the prosperous Georgian era and the elegant properties to be seen Newbiggin and Frenchgate originated at this time.
The town is the home of the famous Georgian Theatre Royal, founded as The Georgian Theatre in 1788 by the actor, Samuel Butler. The fortunes of this notable place have fluctuated somewhat, it was closed in 1848 but was restored during the second half of the last century and was finally re-opened in 1963, with a theatre museum added in 1979. The Georgian Theatre Royal is now a popular venue for all kinds of theatre, and in 2003 a major extension was added.
In Trinity Church Square is the award winning museum dedicated to the illustrious Green Howard's Regiment. The museum was founded in 1938 by Tommy Collins, later to become Brigadier Tommy Collins. Inside the museum there is a veritable feast of rare regimental memorabilia spanning the decades of the past three centuries. This includes the unique Collins Collection of head-dress and uniforms from 1768 to the present day. Visitors can see thousands of medals and decorations, amongst these are eighteen Victoria Crosses and three George Crosses presented to members of the regiment for supreme valour.
The museum presents a vivid portrayal of the life of the regiment in peace and war, with artefacts and photographs from the harsh Crimean War, mementoes of the Boer War and the North-West Frontier of India, together with archive film of World War I and II. This is an amazing, inspiring place with something to interest everyone. Thus, it was not surprising to learn that the museum receives almost 50,000 visitors annually.
Another interesting visit is the Richmondshire Museum in Ryders Wynd. Here, you can learn about the social history of the area beginning with a visit to a reconstructed cruck house crammed with a collection of domestic bygones brought in from various parts of Yorkshire. Visits in the museum include a leadmining gallery and a transport gallery with a model of Richmond Station. There is even a room dedicated to James Herriot, doughty Yorkshire vet whose colourful life graced our TV screens in a series which ran from 1978 to 1990, and starred Christopher Timothy as Herriot and Robert Hardy as Siegfried. New for 2006 is a re-creation of Fenwick's, the famous department store founded as a small grocers shop by John James Fenwick in the mid-Victorian era. This is a very entertaining place with a lively atmosphere, other featured attractions in the museum include Barkers chemist shop from Catterick Garrison and the former village post office from Grinton.
Visitors to the town will be delighted at the wealth of stunning architecture. Richmond's attractive roofline is the result of great and small properties built along sloping, hilly roads, winding lanes, and around what is the largest cobbled market place in England. The square is home to a traditional Sunday market and there is a twice weekly indoor market held on Tuesdays and Thursdays. There is an excellent choice of shops and a range of inviting inns, cafe's, pubs and restaurants including fine historic hotels such as the King's Head, a gorgeous 18th century building at the side of the market place, where in winter months you can toast your toes in front of a large log fire whilst sipping your favourite drink!
On Low Moor, a mile north-west of the town centre, is Richmond's former racecourse, established there between 1765 and 1776 after moving from High Moor. The legendry racecourse is no longer there, but their fine turf and hillside situation are still attractive, lending atmosphere to a number of uses. Most recently a Kite Flying Festival was held there.
This rather special town is often referred to as "The Gateway to the Yorkshire Dales National Park" for its variety of beautiful hill and valley scenery. It is an enjoyable place where it is easy to immerse yourself in its friendliness and delightful un-hurried pace.
Things to do include riverside walks, theatre visits, tour the castle, enjoy prime green spaces and lovely gardens, call at Easby Abbey or historic Kilpin Hall and visit any one of the town's museum's. Sporting enthusiasts can take their choice between Richmond and Catterick for golf courses, and there is horse racing at Catterick which is just a 10 minute drive away. Croft Motor Racing Circuit is also within easy reach of the town.
Richmond is convenient for many places, it is close to Scotch Corner making it an ideal place to break your journey from the Lake District or Scotland, and is an ideal base, not just for the magic of the Yorkshire Dales, but also for discovering the magnificence of the North Yorkshire Moors.
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