"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

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.

The Courthouse

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.

War Memorial

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!!!

Market Cross

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)


Margaret Adamson said...

What a wonderful historic area to explore. great shoots that really give the flavour of the place adn I love the painted art windows

Rosie said...

I know I've been to Knaresborough as I remember the oldest chemist's shop and the view of the viaduct but I can't remember the castle area and of course there wasn't all the window art around then - I'm going back to the late 1980s - and I've never been back since. The photos are wonderful and have made me want to return and explore some more, it ooks a lovely historic town:)

Pam said...

Lovely post, this is going to inspire a visit...hopefully!

Ragged Robin said...

Margaret Adamson - thanks very much Margaret. I particularly loved the painted windows - wish I had had time to find more!

Rosie - thanks so much Rosie. It is a lovely area with a lot to see and do (could have done with a lot longer there!). I know we visited Harrogate about 40 years ago when we used to stay in Leeds with friends but I honestly can't remember if we went to Knaresborough. The viaduct and gorge view was familiar but there again it is the sort of scene you often see in magazines or in calendars!

Pam - Thanks very much Pam - do hope it inspires a visit :) I really did like Knaresborough and there were things we missed such as the church, St Robert's cave and I think there are wood carvings along Abbey Road?? Oh and there is a good book shop too :)))))

Wendy said...

It looks such an interesting place to visit with all the history and the historic buildings and streets. It's a shame in a way that the chemist's shop isn't still a chemist's shop to keep the same use through the centuries. I've liked discovering about the local characters - it's great that they're still remembered.

Ragged Robin said...

Wendy - Thanks Wendy - it really was a fascinating place. I agree with you about the chemist's shop. There was certainly a lot of stuff about Blind Jack - one woman sitting next to the statue of him on a bench was actually talking to him! The guy on the gate at Mother Shipton's was so proud of the cave and well as part of his heritage which I found rather moving :)

Countryside Tales said...

Fascinating place I loved all the history

Pam said...

Oh well if there's a book shop i'm definitely there!! I think i'm going to see if we can head over next month :)

baili said...

what a wonderful series of photos .bakeries are my fav place .loved the rest though

Ragged Robin said...

Countryside Tales - Thanks CT - glad you enjoyed )

Pam - Probably the best piece of inspiration - a book shop :)))) Could have spent quite a lot but family were hovering outside :(

Baili - thanks very much for leaving a comment. Lots of bakeries in Yorkshire and cakes galore :)

Toffeeapple said...

I have been trying to catch up with all your posts after some time in France where we had a poor connection to the internet. I don't think I have been to this area so must make sure it goes on the list for next year.

Loved the window paintings.

Ragged Robin said...

Toffeeapple - Thanks so much - I do hope you had a good time in France. We really liked it up there and will return- do hope you get chance to visit next year. We only skimmed the surface there is so much to see and do in the area.

Yes, I loved the window paintings too - had done a bit of research before we went so knew I had to look out for them :)

amanda peters said...

You have taken some lovely photos, makes me wish we had visited he again over the summer, sometimes you don't think to go when you live close by. They do a big Christmas market, my sister likes to go every year, might try and go with her this year.
Amanda xx

Ragged Robin said...

Amanda Peters - thanks so much again Amanda - so agree re: revisiting local areas - same happens to me here! I bet the Christmas market is superb - hope you manage to go. The two I've been to (Ludlow and Worcester) in recent years were brilliant - will probably go back to Worcester this year :)