Thursday, 21 August 2008

Richmond Castle

As I've mentioned, we're very keen members of English Heritage & visit a lot of historic sites around the North of England. We'll put up some posts of the places we've been to & a bit of the history involved.

Now the history bit... William I 'the Conqueror' laid waste to all the countryside from York to the Wear, the 'Harrying of the North'. This was in reprisal to the death of the Norman garrison at York. Afterwards, 'Big Bad Will' divided out the land between his Norman lords. Alan the Red was one of these men and he was given the Borough of Richmond. He started to build the initial Richmond Castle, in stone, around 1071, choosing a natural defensive position above the River Swale.

Richmond Castle's purpose was to protect Swaledale against border raids. The keep was started late in the 12th century. The keep was built on rock, rather than on a man-made earth motte, which enabled the builders to construct a very sound structure.


Jack surveys the landscape from the top of the Keep. The view from the top is quite spectacular.
The view on the left is overlooking the River Swale.


The horrors in front of the main keep. Still an imposing & terrific structure.

Richmond Castle was still in use during the First World War. It was used as a jail to house 18 'conscientious objectors'. There is a display of a cell in the visitors centre.

Richmond Castle =

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