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Knaresborough is an old and historic market town, spa town and civil parish in the Borough of Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England, located on the River Nidd, four miles east of the centre of Harrogate. Sights in the town include the remains of Knaresborough Castle, Mother Shipton's petrifying well, The House in the Rock, and several cave dwellings, one a chapel, dating from the Middle Ages. Knaresborough is also the site of Ye Oldest Chymist Shoppe in England, opened in 1720. There is also the Courthouse Museum in the castle grounds. Every year the town hosts a number of large social events, chief among them being the "Knaresborough Bed Race". Every summer, teams of locals and visitors, comprising six runners and one passenger, decorate special tube frame 'beds' for a parade through the town. Then, once the beds have been stripped of their non-essential decorations, they compete to push the bed on a combination race/time trial through the town. The climax of the race comes when the teams must cross the River Nidd and climb a steep muddy bank to reach the finish line. Beds without sufficient flotation devices have been known to sink. Although most teams are local, competitors often come from across the country and from Knaresborough's German twin town Bebra to compete. Past celebrities who have taken part include James Whale, Rory McGrath and Peter Duncan, who famously ran the course for his show 'Duncan Dares'.There is also a yearly arts festival, FEVA (Festival of Entertainment and Visual Arts), which has been running since 2001. This takes place in the summer in various parts of the town centre. The town was used to film the opening election sequence in the first episode of the ITV comedy series The New Statesman and some exterior shots for the series were also filmed around Knaresborough. The Borough Bailiff Pub is known to be the oldest pub in Knaresborough. It is currently under ownership of Samuel Smiths Brewery. The principal areas of public open space in the town are the Knaresborough Castle grounds, the nearby Bebra Gardens (formerly Moat Gardens) named after Knaresborough's twin town in Germany, the Conyngham Hall grounds, Horseshoe Field, the King George V Playing Field and Jacob Smith Park, a 30-hectare parkland on the edge of the town bequeathed to Knaresborough by Miss Winifred Jacob Smith.

knaresborough castle knaresborough castle

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