Wednesday, 21 September 2016
Yorkshire Holiday - Tuesday 13th September - Part 1: Knaresborough town and Castle
On Tuesday we spent the day in Knaresborough - an old market town. I really did love it there - so much history, a castle, independent shops, an art trail, the famous view over the Nidd Gorge not to mention Mother Shipton's cave and the petrifying well.
The oldest chemist shop in England
Blind Jack, one of the famous past residents. Due to smallpox he became blind when only 6 years old but still built over 180 miles of roads throughout Yorkshire and Lancashire in the 18th century.
Thomas the Baker again - tempting us to buy more cakes!
There has been a castle at Knaresborough since at least the 12th century and King John and Edward I and Edward II spent much money extending the building. Today's ruins give just a glimpse of the splendour once to be seen. For centuries it was an important military fortress overlooking the Royal Forest of Knaresborough and built high over the River Nidd to give guards a good view of the surrounding countryside. During most of its history it has been under Royal control or held directly by the Crown and today it belongs to the Duchy of Lancaster and the site is managed by Harrogate Borough Council. At the time of the English Civil War Parliament ordered the demolition of the castle in 1648. The people of Knaresborough asked that the King's Tower be left so that it could be used as a prison and thus prevented the total destruction. Today the undercroft of the Courthouse building is the earliest surviving structure. It was used as an administrative centre and today houses a museum (sadly closed when we visited).
The photo below shows the remains of the two towers of the East Gate.
A bowling green was added in the early 20th century on the area that would once have formed part of the inner ward of the castle.
14th century doorway in the Courthouse.
Views of Nidd Gorge - I knew about this but the lovely view still takes you by surprise. The railway viaduct was built to carry a branch of the Thirsk and Leeds Railway across the river. The first viaduct collapsed before completion and the present one was completed in 1851.
You can walk down steps to the bank of the river
although it is a steep climb back up!!!
Trompe l'oeil - there is an art trail you can follow round the town with painted windows portraying the history of the town and some of it's past residents. We didn't see them all but a few photos of the one's we did find.
Mid afternoon we moved on to Mother Shipton's Cave which I'll save for Part 2 although I promise there will be less photos!
*D - photos taken by D with the Canon SX50 HS
(For more information about Ulia, the Lunar Moth and the majickal adventures of Matlock Hare please visit www.matlockthehare.com)