Richmond North Yorkshire; Jewel In The Crown Of The Dales
The Yorkshire Dales in the north of this county has many fine examples of Dales towns and village, but Richmond is definitely the jewel in the crown of these. This market town has a wealth of history which includes a cobble stone market place, a Norman Castle, the river Swale, Georgian architecture, abbeys and monuments.
Richmond has played muse to writers and artists of both the past and present and as it is situated close to the Yorkshire Dales National Park it is easy to see how this inspiration comes about. The scenery is breathtaking and the character of this town is completely unique, having hardly changed through the many centuries of its existence.
For the history, beauty and nature lover Richmond is the ideal Dale town to visit, although it also has its fair share of good shopping, great restaurants, fun pubs and fine hotels. An ideal spot for a short break or an inland holiday, a visit to Richmond can be very rewarding indeed.
In 1071 this town was founded by the Normans and grew around the castle. The name Richmond is derived from Norman French meaning strong hill (riche monte). The castle still stands and it dominates the town. Prior to the arrival of the Normans this land was owned by the Saxon leader Edwin, Earl of Mercia, so it has a history prior to Norman occupation. The keep was a 12th century addition and this is still the best preserved part of the castle today; hardly surprising, because the walls are 11 feet thick!
There are only two other stone built castles in the British Isle to rival the age of Richmond Castle, these are Durham and Colchester. There is an interesting ghost walk which takes place in and around the castle and on one such walk a photographer captured what appears to be an actual ghost.
During the Georgian era a great deal of prosperity was enjoyed by Richmond and this shows in the fine examples of architecture. It was here that one of the first gas works in Europe was built.
The marketplace is still cobbled and also said to be one of the largest in England, and this town has been the home to a number of different religious orders. The Benedictines built St. Martins priory but there is little left of these ruins, while the Abbey of St. Agatha is easy to identify. Richmond has also been home to the Pre-monstratensians founded approximately 1152, and known locally as the White Canons, for their white habits.
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