The Ghosts of Richmond Castle

Easby Abbey

(Article courtesy of Great-Castles.com)

As I shared my photos of my recent trip back to England with you, I decided you might like to read a little history about the places I visited. Easby Abbey (where I was married and my daughter was Christened) and Richmond Castle are very close to each other. I read the attached article on great-castles.com and though you would find it interesting. I  did!

Rising above the River Swale, Richmond Castle was built by Alan the Red between 1070 and 1086. The castle was constructed for the purpose of defending the Norman estates against dispossessed Anglo-Saxon nobility who were defeated during the Norman Conquest of England.

Evidence suggests Richmond Castle was originally built from stone, unlike most Norman castles, which began as wooden motte and bailey castles and later evolved to stone fortifications. The castle also lacks earthworks common among castles of the period.

Richmond Castle

Residing as one of the largest estates in medieval England, Richmond Castle still possesses a wonderful, intact 12th century keep, as well as, partially ruined curtain walls. Although the castle did not serve a significant role in English history, it holds a few secrets …

Legends suggest secret underground passages exist between the castle and Easby Abbey, located a few miles down river. Stories of a ghostly drummer boy still playing his drums surfaced after he disappeared in the hidden tunnels long ago never to be seen again.

Richmond Castle is said to serve as the resting place of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. Presumably, they lie sleeping below the castle walls in a cavern awaiting the day when they will come back to defend the realm in England’s greatest time of need.

An additional legend relates to King Arthur and The Knights of the Round Table.

There once lived a man named Potter Thompson whose wife was somewhat of a harridan. To escape her carping one day, Potter went for a long walk where he eventually found himself along the River Swale, just below Richmond Castle. As he stopped for a rest, Potter noticed an opening in the rocks below the castle. Upon investigating and peering inside, he noticed a long passageway with a faint light in the distance. Potter entered and proceeded towards the light, where he found himself in a cavern surrounded by a sleeping king and his knights who were dressed in full armor. Potter instantly recognized the royal figure as King Arthur due to the horn and legendary sword Excalibur, which were both resting on a nearby table.

Excited by his find, Potter decided to take Excalibur so he could prove to everyone that his story was true. However, as he started to remove the sword from its scabbard, the sleeping knights began to stir. Consequently, Potter became scared and quickly decided to leave the cave. Upon his departure, he heard a sorrowful voice say:

“Potter Thompson, Potter Thompson
If Thou hadst either drawn
The sword, or blown the horn,
Thou wouldst have been the luckiest man
That ever yet was born”

Once outside and able to regain his composure, Potter turned back towards the entrance for another attempt, only to discover the entrance disappeared. He frantically searched the rocky banks of the castle but never located the secret entrance once revealed to him.

 

North Yorkshire – County Durham – London – Colorado

Here I am back in Colorado. I have been up since before five o clock because there are always so many things to do when you get back from a two-week vacation.

I wanted to share one or two more photographs with you before I call my vacation ‘officially over’. As I sit here and look at my digital photo display, I realize how green England is, and how beautiful. I am not saying I would like to move back there, we all know I love my home in Colorado, but it is nice to see all of the greenery.

Richmond Castle

This was at the beginning of our vacation, we walked around Richmond Castle. Richmond is a cobbled market town and was the closest town to Brompton-on-Swale, the village in which I was raised.

The castle ruins

The castle is mostly in ruins, although the ‘Keep’ is still there. We climbed to the top and took beautiful photos of the countryside.

Lovely views.

We took lots of photos from Richmond Castle. Joanna enjoyed it there immensely. This is where she bought a real sword for her boyfriend. It worried me how we would get it back on the plane with all the security there is now, but we checked it and told them what it was. We got a strange look, but no problems!

We visited Summerhouse, where I was raised.

My mum was a 'housekeeper' for this farm.

I have mentioned this farm-house several times in my story ‘Girl on the Beach’, it is where my mum was a housekeeper. The Hodgson’s were a nice family and treated both my mum and me very well.

 

The Raby Hunt Pub

The ‘Raby Hunt’ Restaurant used to be a small pub. We tried to get lunch there, but unfortunately they were getting ready for a special event and were closed.

My house

It brought memories flooding back to see the house I grew up in. I loved the garden and the surrounding fields. Not much has changed over the past forty plus years!

After a week in the North Country, we drove down to London, where we visited old friends and walked the city. It was a very exhausting vacation!

Some things never change

London Bridge has a nice new coat of paint, but other than that, it hasn’t changed much.

New buildings on the Thames

The buildings to the right took me by surprise, they certainly weren’t there when we left in 1995. They are modern, but beautiful buildings.

Waterfront

The waterfront is now a modern, bustling ‘upbeat’ area with waterfront bars and old buildings revamped and made into modern lofts.

In many ways London has improved, but I did notice that not many people who served me at restaurants and bars, spoke English. Not a bad thing, but a little different from when I left.

North Yorkshire – More Photos

Richmond Castle

 

View from Richmond Castle

 

Enjoy the North Yorkshire countryside with me.

My Bridesmaid

A girl names Sue!

Yes I have a glass in my hand once again…..! A great reunion with my friend Sue. She got married in 1977, just like me.  I was her bridesmaid and she was my bridesmaid…..and she hasn’t changed a bit.

We went to Richmond (again) today and met up with our old friends Sue and Ian.  We chatted and drank tea….very English. After getting re-acquainted, we headed off into town and had a late lunch and a couple of glasses of wine and caught up on old times.

Then we went and sat outside in a beer garden and had a couple more glasses of wine. We really loosened up then and laughed until the tears rolled down our cheeks. Joanna is trying the local beers, and laughing at her old mum and some of the antics I used to get up to in my youth.

Tomorrow it is up to Berwick-upon-Tweed and a visit with my old boss from my teenage years. I am having a very busy and exhausting time. Two more days up north and then we head to London.  Thanks heavens for being at sea level and having all of this extra oxygen…couldn’t have made it without.

Richmond – North Yorkshire

Joanna found her Castle

Felt a little worse for wear when I got up this morning. Wine and tequila will do that to you….soon recovered though, and after a light breakfast and lots of tea, we went around to see my brother and his family in Grantley Court. Bill is a hoot, Joanna just loves him. He is a little like Jack Nicholson in more ways than one. I don’t have a photo, but will try to get one.

After a cuppa with family, we set off on our trip down memory lane. We stopped for a ‘pub lunch’ at ‘The Shoulder of Mutton’ in Middleton Tyas. It was delicious. From there we went to Brompton on Swale and visited the resting place of my mum and dad.  ‘Phoebe and Wilf’. We drove to the little bungalow where I lived from 1967 to 1977 and stopped outside so Joanna could take photos. Brought back lots of memories and hasn’t changed one bit!

After Brompton, we drove up to Easby and walked around to ruins of the Abbey and of course took photos of the old church where Lester and I were married, and where Joanna was christened.  I am sure the Reverend Stegall is long gone, but I remember him well.

Next to the little market town of Richmond, with its cobbled streets. Just lovely. Joanna loved it and remembers little bits of it. We went into Richmond Castle, where Jo purchased a gift for someone…..can’t say anymore in case he reads the blog!!! We took a lot of photos in the castle. The countryside around there is gorgeous. Next we stopped off at the ‘Black Lion’. If any of you have read my ‘Guy at the Bar’ novella, you will know my story ends in the ‘Black Lion’.

We drove home the long way, via Catterick Garrison, which is where Lester joined the army and was stationed with the Royal Signals. It was a lovely (chilly) day, but the sun did shine. Tomorrow? Back to Richmond to visit my old friends Sue and Ian.

Richmond Castle

View of the Folly from Richmond Castle

 

 

 

 

 

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