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Richmond's History

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Historical Information

Historical Information

Richmond Castle is a bold statement of great wealth and power and an incredible survival of an early 11th century stone castle. Strategically located in the centre of a vast estate, the castle was originally built to subdue the unruly North of England and is one of the greatest Norman fortresses in Britain.

The castle has a history that spans centuries, from the Norman Conquest to the First World War. Building was begun in the 1070s by Alan Rufus, who had fought at the Battle of Hastings alongside William the Conqueror. A great symbol of power and status it is one of the finest and most complete 11th-century fortresses in the country. The keep, probably built by Count Alan’s great-nephew Conan in the mid-12th century still dominates the town’s skyline today offering breath-taking views.

The museum at Richmond Castle re-opened last year after a £300k refurbishment. The three year long project has seen the creation of a cleverly designed space which aims to better tell the story of the people who lived and worked at the castle on a daily basis throughout the ages. The museum features a series of new displays as well as engaging exhibits and an interactive area for children, telling the stories of some of the castle’s most famous and less well known characters.

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Green Howards Museum

Associated with Richmond since the 19th century, The Green Howards Museum traces this famous regiment’s history. You’ll discover how the political intrigues of the late 1600s saw the raising of the original force at another famous castle in Somerset; Dunster, which then went on to serve all over the world for more than three centuries. The museum is housed in Trinity Church, the medieval basis of which was part of Richmond Castle’s outer bailey. Special exhibitions, family activities, fully accessible, gift shop, dog friendly.

Visit the Green Howards Museum website...


Richmondshire Museum

Richmondshire Museum is a 'Hidden Gem' packed full of the history of the area. There are many different exhibitions that range from lead mining to Georgian low tea and many things in between. We even have a replica of the first ever Fenwicks shop that started out here in Richmond and the set of the hit film and television series 'All Creatures Great and Small' so if you are anyone great or small come and join us for a great experience.

Visit the Richmondshire Museum website...


The Georgian Theatre Royal

The 18th century was a period of growing prosperity for Richmond. Local people had more money to spend, as well as the leisure time to enjoy it, and the influx of wealthy and often influential visitors turned the town into a fashionable social centre. With this came an increased demand for entertainment, which presented itself in the form of assemblies, horse racing and gambling. Companies of strolling players would also come to perform in the town and, in 1788, Richmond got its own theatre – built by the travelling actor/manager Samuel Butler. It became an integral part of the town’s social scene and enjoyed immense popularity during the Georgian heyday. After a tumultuous and colourful history in the intervening years, The Georgian Theatre Royal reopened as a live theatre in 1963, and has continued since then to provide a rich and varied year-round programme. It also has the distinction of being the UK’s oldest working theatre in its original form and visitors can take guided back-stage tours to find out more about its entertaining past.

Visit The Georgian Theatre Royal website...