Saturday, February 6, 2010

Norman Castle and Georgian delights

Memories of a Norman Castle and delightful Georgian buildings flood back at the mention of Heartbeat. Heartbeat the television series set in 1960’s Yorkshire will return to the screen next week. As I watch this show the songs playing in the background, the narrow streets, stone grey buildings, mini skirts and Yorkshire accents remind me of happy times spend there. 
It may sound like I spend a lot of time watching television but I don’t. I am very selective as to what I watch. Heartbeat is set in a place and a time when I lived there. I started school in Yorkshire and many years later I returned and finished my school years there.    

This is the place were I fell in love with Georgian architecture and history. We did spent some time in the South of England but it never captured my heart in the same way the market town of Richmond did. The school bus would climb the hill toward the ancient market square. 
The first site of Richmond the Norman castle built in 1071. The bus would then stop in the centre of the cobble stoned market square. The surrounding buildings are Georgian in style. Even the Woolworth store has been hidden within a Georgian style building. Nothing is allowed to spoil this beautiful town.
Richmond is the mother of all Richmond’s around the world. Richmond is a Norman word Riche-Mont meaning strong hill. The records of this town reach back into ancient times as far back as the Stone Age. Easby Abbey near by was built in 1152 and nearly destroyed during the reign of Henry VIII in 1536.
I remember hiding in the ruins. We were sent out on cross country runs. I must confess I hated long distance running and my friend and I would hide in the abbey until the others would return. We would then rejoin the group and run back to school.  I was much better at short distant sprints. 
During the next few blogs I will take a wonder through the architecture and interiors of this beautiful Georgian period. Richmond had it’s heyday in the 17th and 18th century. Think Jane Austin rooms, buildings and clothing. Maybe this is why I love Jane Austin so much.     

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