History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: One of the earliest stone castles in Norman England.
After Alan's death the title to Richmond passed to the dukes of Britanny, in France, and for the next 300 years the dukes held, lost, and regained Richmond as they shifted allegiance between the kings of England and France. The dukes finally lost possession for good in 1384, and in the 15th century Richmond passed through the hands of some of the great noble families of England, including the Duke of Bedford, the Nevilles, Edmund Tudor (father of Henry VII), and Richard, Duke of Gloucester (later Richard III).
If you visit the castle today, the first thing that catches your attention is the strong 12th century stone keep, which seems to dominate the hilltop. But wait, didn't I just say that there was no keep? Yes, but the keep we see today is a later addition, built by Conan the Little, Duke of Britanny, who almost completely rebuilt the original gatehouse to create this imposing structure. Only the inner gateway arch of the gatehouse was kept when the keep was built.
The keep has a vaulted ground floor, but the upper floors are reached only by a first floor doorway. One unusual feature is that the floors are not joined by a spiral stair, which is almost universal in medieval castles. Instead, the keep has straight stairs. It is the only part of the castle to remain intact and roofed.
I came to Richmond on a regular market day - a complete accident I assure you - and the market place was crammed with people. But they'd come for the market, not to see the castle, and the castle itself was enjoyably empty of crowds. What I recall most was the drama of the impressive keep, and the fabulous views from the top. That view gives you a wonderful idea of how the whole site fits together. For an equally impressive view, go down to the riverside, and look up, to the castle towers soaring above you. It truly is an impressive site, and I can see that if Alan the Red intended to cowe his conquered Britons into submission, the castle might well have done just that.
About Richmond Castle
Address: Riverside Road, Richmond, Yorkshire, England, DL10 4QW
Attraction Type: Castle
Website: Richmond Castle
Phone: 01748 822493
OS: NZ172 008
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
We've 'tagged' this attraction information to help you find related historic attractions and learn more about major time periods mentioned.
Historic Time Periods:
Find other attractions tagged with:
12th century (Time Period) - 14th century (Time Period) - 15th century (Time Period) - castle (Architecture) - Henry VII (Person) - Medieval (Time Period) - motte and bailey (Historical Reference) - Norman (Architecture) - Richard III (Person) - Tudor (Time Period) - William the Conqueror (Person) -
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Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
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Stanwick. St John's Church - 6.8 miles (Historic Church)
Stanwick Iron Age Fort - 7.1 miles (Prehistoric Site)
South Cowton, St Mary's Church - 7.2 miles (Historic Church)
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