Visit Richmond and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Richmond, North Yorkshire. An early visitor, given to understatement, observed, “This towne standeth on unequal grounde”: Richmond's setting at the entrance to steep-sided Swaledale can hardly be matched, even in a region of dramatic sites. Looking at the town across the river, the viewer is first struck by the strength of the ruined Norman fortress on its sheer rock. The castle was begun by Alan Rufus in 1071, when the border of newly conquered England ran not far to the North West it is distinctive for having its keep at the gate, a handsome 100-ft tower built in the 12th century. From its top is the best viewpoint, over the market place, the old town about it, the Swale - the fastest-flowing English river - and the moors. The castle still has two of its towers on the curtain wall and, in Scollard's Hall, built in 1080, it has perhaps the oldest domestic building in Britain. Splendid as it is, the castle was never completed and had little part in history, but it claims one of those unlikely legends of Arthur and his knights asleep until the country needs them. Another story tells of an underground passage to Easby Abbey, down which a ghostly drummer boy can be heard.
The market place is large, sloping and cobbled. An easy blend of Georgian and Victorian stone buildings surrounds it. The Town Hall on the south side was built in 1756. The obelisk near Holy Trinity Church was put up in 1771. The medieval church itself is a curious assemblage of the ecclesiastical and secular, shops and offices having been built into it; this undermining by commerce at one time threatened the tower.
Friars Wynd leads off to the perfect Georgian Theatre Royal. It was built in 1788 and is one of only two theatres of the period left, the other being at Bristol. It closed in 1848. After a long interval as an auction room, corn-chandler's shop, furniture warehouse and salvage depot, it was restored and reopened in 1962. The audience crowds close to the little stage, watching the action from the original pit, boxes and gallery.
Across Queen's Road is Greyfriars Tower, 15th-century relic of the Franciscan church. A walk along Frenchgate, leading North East off the market place, passes some of the finest early residences.
I'Anson Road commemorates Frances I'Anson, the “Lass of Richmond Hill” to whom the famous song was dedicated in 1785. Leyburn-born, she spent her girlhood here at Hill House.
St Mary's, the parish church on steep ground overlooking the Swale, was extensively restored by Gilbert Scott in 1859-60. In the chancel are 12 medieval canopied stalls from Easby, with some fascinating carvings under the seats. The church contains the memorial chapel of the Green Howards.
Lewis Carroll attended for a time the Grammar School opposite, a foundation much older than its Elizabethan charter, when his father was vicar of Croft.
Nearby towns: Barnard Castle, Bedale, Darlington, Leyburn, Northallerton, Reeth
Nearby villages: Aysgarth, Barningham, Bellerby, Bolton-on-Swale, Brignall, Catterick, Catterick Camp, Cleasby, Constable Burton, Crakehall, Downholme, Easby, East Hauxwell, Finghall, Forcett, Hackforth, Hornby, Hunton, Hurworth Place, Hutton Magna, Kirby Hill, Kirkby Fleetham, Leeming Bar, Leyburn, Lucy Cross, Marrick, Marske, Melsonby, Middleton Tyas, Newton Morrell, North Cowton, Ravensworth, Ravensworth, Scotton, Stanwick, Wensley, West Hauxwell
Have you decided to visit Richmond or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a Richmond bed and breakfast (a Richmond B&B or Richmond b and b)
- a Richmond guesthouse
- a Richmond hotel (or motel)
- a Richmond self-catering establishment, or
- other Richmond accommodation