Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Knaresborough Castle and Riverwalk

We made a "morning trip" (like a day trip but only for half of the day) to Knaresborough. My plan was to visit the castle and see what else we could see in the town.

Driving didn't take too long and the parking was cheap and right at the castle. We wandered in through the East Gate of the castle in search of adventure and excitement.

You can see a little corner of Lucy racing in ahead of us

We walked out into the middle of the field and found a strange passage into the ground. The sign said it was a sallyport, i.e. an underground tunnel used for secretly entering and exiting the castle. This one is wide enough for several armed and armored men to walk through, presumably to flank forces attacking the castle.

We all wanted to go down there!

Unfortunately it was locked and the sign further explained that guided tours go through the sallyport. We hoped to find more information about that. The web site I checked said the museum opened at 10:30. Maybe tours start from there?

We wandered over to the museum which is housed in the courthouse, the main building still standing inside the castle walls. The foundation dates back to 12th or 13th century, with a more modern structure, circa 1600. We went to the door, but that was locked too, even though the sign there said it was open daily.

All three doors were locked!

We walked over to the other large structure, much larger than the court house, still on the property. The King's Tower was built between 1307 and 1312 by King Edward II. It was supposed to be torn down with the rest of the castle during the Civil War. The townspeople petitioned Parliament to leave it as a prison. Also the courthouse was spared so it could function as a courthouse. Clever planning, eh?

What's left of the tower

The Tower was also closed, though later we saw a worker put out a sign that said they were open from noon to 5 p.m., which doesn't really work for nap times. Maybe we can nap early one day and rush out to see this around 3:30 or 4.

Next to the Tower is what is called the "Porch," an area that probably held an entrance room to the castle. Jacob and Lucy loved this spot, especially because I let them use the camera for a little bit.

Jacob and Lucy clowning around

Pretty good photo of me by Jacob

We walked to the back wall of the castle and saw this view of the train bridge and the River Nidd.

We heard a waterfall down below so Jacob wanted to investigate. We walked down a long and winding staircase (Lucy was carried for quite a bit), and eventually discovered the river walk. The promised waterfall wasn't too impressive (thus no pictures). The riverside had a lot of little snack shops. We stopped for a bite and to admire the traffic going by.

Jacob loved his pastry which was called a fat rascal

Big traffic!

Jacob explained the traffic to me, but I still didn't understand

Once done with the snack we headed back up the stairs for more adventures. We found the market square and saw one of the famous men of Knaresborough, Blind Jack. Even though he lost his sight at age 6, John Metcalf was famous for building 180 miles of road and being a great fiddle player. He even had his own pub in the market square.

Jacob finds a friend

A pub next to a liquor store seems redundant to me; check out the fake windows in the middle!

We then saw a Punch and Judy show, but that's a story for another blog posting. We enjoyed our adventures and can't wait to show Mommy around this awesome town.


  1. Just for fun I had put "Knaresborough" and "Zombie" into google and found this page! As a father of two (14 months and a 5yr old) living in Knaresborough I love the Zombie Father sentiment. Hope you enjoyed the visit :-)

  2. The visit was great. Hopefully we'll get to go back and do the tour of the castle and show Mommy all the awesome sights.