Location: Richmond Castle
Richmond Castle was built in the year 1071, during the Norman Conquest of Saxon England. When the Normans, lead by William the Conquerer, seized the borough of Yorkshire, it was put in the jurisdiction of William’s companion, Alan Rufus (Alain Le Roux de Penthierre). Rufus became the 1st Lord of Richmond. He had Richmond castle built as a base for the Normans, and for defense against any rebellions by the natives. When Henry II seized Richmond in 1158, the castle fell under the ownership of the Dukes of Brittany.
Richmond Castle consists of four main parts: a triangular main enclosure, an outer enclosure to the east, a keep at the northern corner of the main enclosure, and a small enclosure around the keep. Other features of the castle’s architectural design include a 100-ft sandstone keep, and 11-ft thick walls. In addition to the main circuit of the wall, there was the barbican in front of the main gate which functioned as an ‘air lock’ - allowing visitors and wagons to be checked before entry to the main castle. On the other side of the castle overlooking the river was another enclosure or bailey called the Cockpit which may have functioned as a garden and was overlooked by a balcony.
The castle also became a base for the North Yorkshire Militia in 1855. During World War I, it was used as a prison for deserters and protestors.
Today, the castle is used as a historic museum; an ark containing paintings, artifacts, and architecture from the time period it was built in.