Richmond, North Yorkshire

infobox UK place
country = England
official_name= Richmond
latitude= 54.4035
longitude= -1.7373
population = 8970
shire_district= Richmondshire
region= Yorkshire and the Humber
shire_county = North Yorkshire
constituency_westminster= Richmond
post_town= RICHMOND
postcode_district = DL10
postcode_area= DL
dial_code= 01748
os_grid_reference= NZ170009

static_image_caption=Richmond seen from its castle

Richmond is a market town on the River Swale in North Yorkshire, England and is the administrative centre of the district of Richmondshire. Situated on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, it is a popular tourist destination,Fact|date=March 2007 with a total population of 8970.



The town of Richemont in Normandy (now in the Seine-Maritime département, Haute-Normandie region) was the origin of the name Richmond. This Richmond was the eponymous honour of the Earls of Richmond (or "comtes de Richemont"), a dignity normally also held by the Duke of Brittany from 1136 to 1399.

Early history

Richmond was founded in 1071 by the Norman, Alan Rufus, on lands granted to him by William the Conqueror. Richmond Castle, completed in 1086, consisted of a keep with walls encompassing the area now known as the Market Place.

The constitutional ambiguity of Dukes of Brittany as vassals of both France (in right of Brittany) and England (in right of Richmond) was the source of much tension in Breton and Northern English history, particularly during the great Breton War of Succession and Wars of the Roses. Richmond was eventually willed by Francis II, Duke of Brittany to Henry VII of England, whose grandson Henry FitzRoy, 1st Duke of Richmond and Somerset was Richmond's first ruler independent of Brittany. A now lengthy line of dukes has existed since then, from the House of Stuart.

The prosperity of the medieval market town and centre of the Swaledale wool industry greatly increased in the late 17th and 18th centuries with the burgeoning lead mining industry in nearby Arkengarthdale. It is from this period that the town's attractive Georgian architecture originates, the most notable examples of which are to be found on Newbiggin and in Frenchgate.


Richmond Castle situated in the town centre overlooking the River Swale is a major tourist attraction. The Green Howards Regimental Museum is based in the old Trinity Church in the centre of the town's market place; the town is also home to the Richmondshire Museum.

The Georgian Theatre, founded in 1788 by the actor, Samuel Butler, is just off the market place. A decline in the fortunes of theatre led to its closure in 1848 and it was used as a warehouse for many years. In 1963 the theatre was restored and reopened, with a theatre museum added in 1979. More recently, the theatre has become the Georgian Theatre Royal and was extended in 2003 with the addition of a new block providing services and access next to the original auditorium.

Media and filmography

Richmond has been used as a filming location for a significant number of TV programmes & films including The Fast Show, Century Falls, Earthfasts and All Creatures Great and Small amongst others.

Fresh Radio, the local radio station for the Yorkshire Dales, broadcasts programmes from studios in Richmond.


The town is home to two secondary schools: Richmond School and St Francis Xavier School. There are also three non-sectarian primary schools: Richmond Methodist, Richmond C of E and St Marys Catholic School.


The fine stone terminus of Richmond Railway Station, built in a Tudor/Elizabethan style, opened in 1846 and closed in 1968, shortly before the railway line itself was taken out of service. After the station closed, the building was used for many years as a garden centre. It is now being renovated by the Richmondshire Building Preservation Trust and opened in late 2007 - retitled, simply, The Station - as a mixed-use space for community and commercial activities.

Richmond has a [ frequent bus service] to Darlington and Catterick Garrison, and a wide range of [ local bus services] to nearby towns and villages including Leyburn, Northallerton and Barnard Castle.

There have been many places around the world named Richmond after this town.


A town as old as Richmond has two famous legends attached to it.

The Drummer Boy - nearly 200 years ago some soldiers found an entrance to a tunnel near the castle keep. They could not fit into the tunnel so they elected to send a regimental drummer boy. The boy was asked to walk along the tunnel and beat his drum so that above ground the soldiers could follow the noise. They did this for 3 miles before the sound stopped unexpectedly. This was never explained and today a stone marks the spot the noise stopped. More confusingly the entrance can also not be found. Today schools celebrate this local legend with children marching through town annually. Legend claims that on some cold nights you can hear the faint sound of the drummer boy still.

King Arthur - Some believe that King Arthur is under the mound of Richmond and will rise again to save England when she needs him.

Nearby settlements

* Bedale
* Brompton-on-Swale
* Catterick
* Catterick Garrison
* Colburn
* Constable Burton
* Darlington
* East Witton
* Finghall
* Kirby Hill
* Leyburn
* Marske
* Middleham
* Ravensworth
* Reeth
* Thornton Steward
* Whashton

Twinned locations

*flagicon|France Saint-Aubin-du-Cormier
*flagicon|Norway Vinstra


External links

* [ Richmond Mini Guide] .
* [ Richmond Guide] .
* [ Richmond Online] .
* [ A History of Richmond : edited from Langdale's Yorkshire Dictionary (1822) and Baine's Directory of the County of York (1823)] .
* [ Robinson's Guide to Richmond :(1833)] .
* [ A Brief History of Richmond]
* [ Richmondshire Museum] .
* [ Richmond Town Council] .
* [ Fresh Radio] .
* [ Richmond Operatic Society] .
* [ The Station] .

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