Friday, 16 March 2012

The Other Richmond

Richmond, North Yorkshire, situated on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, is a beautiful medieval market town which was voted UK Town of the Year 2009. It boasts a castle, which overlooks the river Swale, that dates back to 1081. The keep of the castle is now the cobbled Market Place which is one of the largest in the country.

Richmond Castle

The Market Place

The Limestone pavement in the river Swale
Recently we had good reasons to visit Richmond twice in three days. The first was to see a concert by the lovely Karen Matheson, a Celtic folk singer that we saw perform at the Transatlantic Sessions concert at the Sage, Gateshead last month. This time the venue was very different to the state of the art Sage but equally magnificent - The Georgian Theatre Royal .

Georgian Theatre Royal built in 1788 by actor-manager Samuel Butler.
We met our friends Eileen and John at the theatre in the afternoon to take one of the guided tours of Britain's most complete Georgian playhouse. I can strongly recommend this as the place is full of quirky little things and you get to go beneath the stage and see the workings of the trapdoors and Britain's oldest scenery painted between 1818 and 1836.
Woodland scenery

The concert in the evening performed to a full house and so the seating, on benches for us, was very cosy but Karen's lovely singing voice more than compensated for any stiff backs.

Three days later we returned but this time to visit some other good friends who live in an ancient manor house at Skeeby, near Richmond. I have visited Val and Ian's house regularly since they bought it in 1981 but they have recently modernised, and move in to, one end of the house previously offices and then later playrooms for the kids, and it is absolutely fabulous. Jackie, one of the good friends I made while studying for my degree in Textile and Surface Design at CCAD, has made all of the soft furnishings which are wonderful.
Richmond Station
Station Gallery
Ian has been very involved with the restoration of the Victorian railway station which now hosts a contemporary cafe, bar and restaurant, two-screen cinema, art galley and outlets for six artisan food producers that include a cheese maker, microbrewery and ice cream parlour. On this occassion we went there to the cinema to see The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, a film about retired English pensioners, which seemed quite appropriate for the four of us!

No comments:

Post a Comment