Richmond, England Tourist Attractions
Richmond is a very picturesque little town, described by the British Council as "typically English". The historic focal point of the old town is the Norman castle, whose spectacular ruins perch on a rock, dominating the banks of the River Swale. Richmond is surrounded by the Pennines and the Yorkshire Dales and is an excellent base for nature-lovers and walkers who wish to explore the great open spaces in the vicinity.The name of the town comes from the castle ("Riche Mont") built about 1070 by Alan the Red, first Earl of Richmond. His extensive possessions, which he held in fee from William the Conqueror, included no fewer than 164 manors and became known as Richmondshire. Henry VII, who inherited the title of Earl of Richmond, gave the name to his new palace in Surrey (now Greater London), previously known as Sheen.
The castle in Richmond, dating from the 11th C, was impregnable on three sides, thanks to its situation; the fourth side was protected by a massive keep. The best view of Richmond, which was formerly defended by walls and three gates, is to be had from the top of this 115ft/35m high keep, which was built between 1150 and 1180.
Address: Tower Street, Richmond DL10 4QW, England
Opening hours: Mar 21 to Sep 30: 10am-6pm
Oct 1 to Mar 31: 10am-4pm; Closed: Tue, Wed
Oct 1 to Mar 31: 10am-4pm; Closed: Tue, Wed
Always closed on: New Year's Day (Jan 1), Christmas Eve - Christian (Dec 24), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25), Day after Christmas, St Stephen's Day, Boxing Day (Dec 26)
Entrance fee in GBP: Adult £4.00, Concession or reduced rate £3.20, Child £2.00, Group discounts FREE, Child 5 & under FREE
Useful tips: Accessible by public transit.
Disability Access: Full facilities for persons with disabilities.
Facilities: Gift shop
A short way to the north of Richmond's castle, in the large cobbled market place, is the little church of Holy Trinity, surrounded by pretty old houses and small shops.
Green Howards Museum
In Green Howards Museum over 300 years of the history of the North Yorkshire Regiment are documented.Some of the campaign relics that decorate the units past is an original musket used in 1688 and a piece of the Berlin Wall.
Georgian Theatre Royal & Museum
A special attraction in Richmond is the lovingly restored Georgian Theatre Royal, which was designed in 1788 by Samuel Butler, who built another five theater stages within a radius of 31mi/50km. The auditorium today holds 230. Famous actors such as Edmund Kean and Macready once appeared here. Kean joined Butler's theater ensemble in 1808 at the age of 17 as a singing comedian and "walking gentleman harlequin", before going on to London, where he was to enjoy great success as a classical actor.The long history of theater and drama is well documented in the theater museum, which opened in 1979, with historic models, properties, costumes, posters, photos and other mementos. In the second gallery the visitor can admire the oldest, completely preserved, painted stage set in Great Britain. It was made in 1836 in the workshop of George River Higgins; the number of different trees painted on the backdrop is remarkable.
In Ryder's Wynd - the tiny streets in Richmond have the name "wynds" - can be found the Richmondshire Museum, which has exhibits connected with local history from 1071 to the present day (including Anglo-Saxon excavation finds, historic costumes, displays of crafts and industry, children's toys).
Northwest of the Richmondshire Museum, near Queen's Road, is the Greyfriars Tower (built about 1360-70), which is the last remaining fragment of the former monastery of the Gray Friars order, whose members lived here from the 12th to the 16th century.
St Mary's Church
Going eastwards from the Richmondshire Museum along Station Road, the parish church of St Mary's is reached almost immediately. It contains elaborately carved 16th century choir stalls, which were originally in Easby Abbey.
Swaledale and Wensleydale Valleys
Excursions can be made from Richmond into Swaledale and Wensleydale, two scenically beautiful valleys which lie on the northern edge of the Yorkshire Dales.
An attractive path along the River Swale leads to the extensive and picturesque ruins of Easby Abbey (1mi/2km from Richmond), a Premonstratensian abbey founded in 1155. Visitors can see what is left of the refectory, nave and transepts, as well as the east part of the choir. The nearby parish church, St Agatha's, has a copy of the Easby Cross (Anglo-Saxon, about 800; original in the British Museum in London), some fine wall-paintings dating from the middle of the 13th C and a Norman-Romanesque font.
Scotch Corner, England
Scotch Corner is on the A1 northwest of Richmond. It is major highway junction and has been since the Romans built the first roads.
Stone manor house located 5 miles east of Richmond, just south of Scotch Corner. The building dates from 1650 and features a carved wood staircase.
Leyburn is located at the junction of several roads on the north bank of the Ure. The surrounding scenery and other small villages make Leyburn an ideal base for exploring.
Constable Burton Hall Gardens
Constable Burton Hall Gardens features a romantic terrace garden surrounded by 18th century parkland. Enjoy woodland walks, the garden trails and extensive borders all beautifully set in Wensleydale.