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Richmond, North Yorkshire

Richmond is a market town on the River Swale in North Yorkshire, UK and is the administrative centre of the district of Richmondshire. Situated on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, it is a popular tourist destination. The town was founded in 1071 by the Norman, Alan Rufus, on lands granted to him by William the Conqueror. Richmond Castle, completed in 1086, consisted of a keep with walls encompassing the area now known as the Market Place. The prosperity of the medieval market town and centre of the Swaledale wool industry greatly increased in the late 17th and 18th centuries with the burgeoning lead mining industry in nearby Arkengarthdale. It is from this period that the town's attractive Georgian architecture originates, the most notable examples of which are to be found on Newbiggin and in Frenchgate.

Richmond is also home to the Georgian Theatre, originally founded in 1788 by the actor, Samuel Butler. Although the decline in the fortunes of theatre led to its closure in 1848, the Georgian Theatre was restored and reopened in 1963, with a theatre museum added in 1979. More recently, the theatre has become the Georgian Theatre Royal and was extended in 2003. Richmond Castle situated in the town centre overlooking the River Swale is a major tourist attraction. Based in the old Trinity Church in the centre of the town's market place is the Green Howards Regimental Museum. The town is also home to the Richmondshire Museum.*


Richmond has been used as a filming location for a significant number of TV programmes & films including The Fast Show, Harry, Century Falls and All Creatures Great and Small amongst others.*







Richmond Castle

Richmond Castle in North Yorkshire, England, stands in a breathtaking position above the River Swale, close to the centre of the town of Richmond. It was constructed in 1071 as part of the Norman Conquest of England and as a direct result of the slaughter of the Norman garrison at York in 1069 by English dissenters.

William the Conqueror put down the 1069 rebellion in the "harrying of the North" and as a punishment divided out the lands of north Yorkshire among his most loyal followers. Alan de Ponthievre (Alan the Red) of Brittany received the borough of Richmond for his part in the victory over King Harold at Hastings in 1066 and began constructing the castle to defend against further attacks from the north. The original castle had a French keep (Scolland's Hall) but this was superseded by a 100-foot-high keep constructed at the end of the 12th century by Conan the Little and completed by King Henry II. This keep, which has stood the test of time very well, was constructed on solid rock and has a very robust design with 11-foot-thick walls. It was built solely for military needs, as Scolland's Hall was retained for living quarters in the south part of the castle. Today's visitors can climb to the top of the keep for magnificent views of the town of Richmond.

At the same time that the new keep was built, Henry II considerably strengthened the castle by adding walls, towers and a barbican. Richmond Castle has remained quite well-preserved over the centuries because it never saw any serious military conflict and because it was built almost entirely of stone, locally abundant.

The castle gradually fell into decay over the centuries. However, it became the headquarters of the North Yorkshire Militia in 1855, with a military barracks constructed in the great court yard. The castle was used extensively during the First World War, primarily as the base of the Non-Combat Corps made up of conscientious objectors. The barracks in the great court yard were destroyed in 1935 but the castle was still used by the army in the Second World War.

Today the castle is looked after by English Heritage.*





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Easby Abbey

Easby Abbey or the Abbey of St Agatha is an abandoned Premonstratensian Abbey on the eastern bank of the River Swale on the outskirts of Richmond in the Richmondshire district of North Yorkshire. The site is maintained by English Heritage, it can be reached by a pleasant riverside walk from Richmond Castle.

The Abbey of St. Agatha, Easby was founded in 1152 by Roald, Constable of Richmond Castle. The inhabitants were canons rather than monks. The Premonstratensians wore a white habit and became known as the White Canons.

The White Canons followed a code of austerity similar to that of Cistercian monks., unlike monks of other orders, they were exempt from the strict Episcopal discipline. They undertook preaching and pastoral work in the region (such as distributing meat and drink).

Other Premonstraterian houses include Egglestone Abbey in County Durham and Shap Abbey in Cumbria.

Like most northern monasteries, Easby suffered from frequent Scottish raids during the Middle Ages. Ironically, great damage was caused to Easby and Egglestone Abbey in 1346 when the English army was billeted there on its way to the Battle of Neville's Cross.

In the late 1530s Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries. The Abbey was abandoned and left to fall into ruins though some of the best features were salvaged, the fine canopied choir stalls are now found in Richmond parish church.*

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*information from Wikipedia

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