WALKING THE RIVER NIDD WHEN VISITING KNARESBOROUGH IS A MUST IT IS VERY PEACEFUL AND HAS REAL CHARM,BUT IF THERE IS ONE THING YOU DONT EXPECT TO SEE IT IS A DRAGON AND A ROCK CARVED CHAPEL,THESE ARE ONLY 2 OF THE THING YOU WILL SEE ,SO GO AND PAY A VISIT.
The castle sits on top of a large cliff and the ruins command a view of the River Nidd and Forest of Knaresborough. On a clear day you can see for miles from up here.
All that is left today is the ruins of the keep but it is well maintained and grassed and a pleasant place to walk and sit and of course , enjoy the view.
Oliver Cromwell had the castle demolished so that it would never pose a threat again.
Mother Shipton was an English witch who lived in the river side area of Knaresborough who made correct predictions on the fire of London in 1666, iron ships and the fate of several monarchs in her lifetime.
Perhaps she knew of the petrifying well here - the only one its sort in England where 700 gallons or 3200 litres of water flow over the well each hour. If a soft toy is hung under the water it will turn to stone in 3 to 5 months - there are a whole range of things hung under the water to see that have all turned to stone.
So the park is named after a famous witch and it is well worth a visit - the view from the river bank to the town is stunning.
A mix of paintings, photography , carvings, ceramics , wood, glass and sculpture can be found in this gallery situated in a courtyard setting.
The Blue Skies Gallery has a regular changing programme of work from Yorkshire artisits and also artists from further afield.
The gallery is situated in an old flax mill dating from 1808.
This is Englands oldest chemist shop although today its only links with the past and its apothacary links is the Lavender Water made by a Mrs Lawrence back in 1720 when the shop opened.
Today the shop is on two levels - the ground floor is a wonderful array of chocolates, old fashioned sweets, toffees, jams and preserves and upstairs (and outside in front of the shop) are the Laveneder Tearooms where they sell wonderful scones, buns and cakes etc.
A unique thing to see in Knaresborugh are the painted windows in the town centre. The windows and their locations are - Gracious Street (Ginger Lacey - a famous pilot), Briggate (Guy Fawkes - local man who tried to blow up parliament in 1605), Castlegate - three windows (King John, a window cleaner and Mother Shipton), Market Place (Blind Jack - a famous local road maker), Kirkgate (a double window depicting the Civil War) and High Street (opposite the bus station a double window called the Zoo).
John Metcalf (1717–1810), also known as Blind Jack of Knaresborough or Blind Jack Metcalf, was the first of the professional road builders to emerge during the British Industrial Revolution.
In the period 1765 to 1792 he built about 180 miles (290 km) of turnpike road, mainly in the north of England.
He was born on 15 August 1717 in Knaresborough into a poor family, the son of a horse breeder and blind from the age of 6 due to a small pox infection.
In 1765 Parliament passed an act authorising the creation of turnpike trusts to build new toll funded roads in the Knaresborough area. There were few people around with road building experience and John seized the opportunity, building on his practical experience as a carrier.
He won a contract to build a three-mile (5 km) section between Minskip and Ferrensby of a new road from Harrogate to Boroughbridge. He explored this section of countryside alone and worked out the most practical path despite his blindness.
Metcalf went on to build roads throughout the then counties of Lancashire, Derbyshire, Cheshire and Yorkshire.
His memory lives on in Knaresborough with a seat incorperating his statue in the Market Place.
The House in the Rock were built by a linen weaver Thomas Hill. The work began in 1770, It took 16 years to build and consisted of four rooms, in the affect of a lighthouse, one room on top of the other.
Thomas Hill, his wife and family lived in the house. The descents of Thomas Hill lived in the house until 1996 when renovating took place. It is in hope that when renovations are completed it will be open to the public to vist.
Knaresborough castle was built around 1100 by a Norman baron. It is situated on a cliff overlooking the River Nidd. Hugh de Moreville took refuge here in the 1170's after assassinating Thomas Becket.
Edward I rebuilt the castle between 1301 and 1307.
John of Gaunt acquired the castle in 1372 and added it to the vast holdings of the duchy of Lancaster.
In 1644, the castle was taken by parliamentarian troops during the civil war.
It was largely destroyed in 1648 by an order from parliament to destroy all royalist castles.
Many of the buildings in the town centre are made of the stone that was removed from the castle.
The castle and the ground it stands on are owned by the Monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, as part of the duchy of Lancaster holdings and are administered by Harrogate borough council.
The castle is situated on top of a cliff overlooking the River Nidd. The original castle was built in the 12th century, the remains here now date back to the 14th century. Most of the castle was destroyed in the English Civil War, the main bits left are the East Gate, King's Tower & Court House.
Inside the Court House museum you'll discover the history of the castle. Also here is a surviving Tudor court room. The museum is open from Good Friday until October & has an admission charge.
The grounds of the castle are a beautiful place to explore or relax in. As well as the castle remains there is a war memorial. The highlight has to be the spectacular views of the Nidd Gorge and the viaduct.
This stone viaduct over the River Nidd was completed in 1851 to carry a branch of the Leeds Northern Railway. The four-span bridge stands 78ft high above the river. It's an impressive structure to look at & photograph from any angle.
A delightful way to spend some time on a Summer's day is to go on the river in one of the many rowing boats that are for hire. From the boat you'll get a different view of the castle & the railway bridge.
As well as having the oldest attraction, Knaresborough also lays a claim to having the Oldest chemist shop. This shop has stood in Knaresborough Market Place since 1720, However the dates back even further to medieval times.
Its unusual façade and antiquated interior which still harbour original fixtures and fittings of the 18th c Chemist shop have made it an attraction of exceptional value to local people, historians and visitors.
Now the Ist floor rooms are now Tea rooms serving Speciality Teas and confectionary while the ground floor shop sells Luxury Handmade Chocolates, Toffees and Old Fashioned Sweets, Jams & Preserves
Laying at the heart of Ancient Forest of Knaresborough Mother Shipton's cave is believed to be England's Oldest attraction as the Petrifying Well is thought to have first 'opened its gates' in 1630
The nearby cave is said to be the birthplace of the renowned 15th century prophetess Mother Shipton (1488 - 1561) who is certainly England’s most famous Prophetess. She lived some 500 years ago during the reigns of King Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth I.
Mother Shipton's prophetic visions became known and feared throughout England, many of them still proving uncannily accurate today. You can visit the Wishing well and the famous Petrifying well where absorbent objects are turned to stone with the passage of time due to the high mineral count in the water.