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Guidebook: Richmond Castle & Easby Abbey

Guidebook: Richmond Castle & Easby Abbey


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Richmond Castle, set spectacularly above the cliffs of the rive Swale, has long been celebrated as one of the great ruins of northern England. About a mile downstream are the remains of St Agatha's Abbey, known as Easby. The history of these two outstanding buildings is closely connected.

Richmond (the the Norman-French riche mont, 'strong hill') was founded by Alan Rufus with the resources of a vast gift of lands granted by William the Conqueror after 1071. These lands became known as the Honour of Richmond with, at its hub, the castle - perhaps the most complete 11th century survival of its kind in Europe. It was planned as one with the wider settlement, partly to dominate which the keep, or great tower, was added in about 1160. A little earlier, in 1151, Roald, the constable of the castle, founded St Agatha's Abbey, one of three Premonstratensian houses in the Honour. It was dissolved by Henry VIII in 1536.

Richmond passed through the hands of several powerful owners, including the Crown, but fell to ruin from the 15th century. In the 1850s the keeps was restored and barracks (now demolished) were built. A group of conscientious objectors, the 'Richmond Sixteen', was imprisoned here in 1916. The castle and abbey passed separately into state guardianship in the early 20th century.

Key Features:

  • 52 pages
  • Paperback
  • Published in 2016

Size: Approx. 160 mm (w) x 285 mm (h)
Author: John Goodall
ISBN: 9781910907085

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