Knaresborough Castle and Other Attractions

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Knaresborough is a spa and market town in North Yorkshire. The town itself probably dates back to 1100 as Knaresborough castle was built during Norman times. As with many towns in England it grew to provide services and staff to the nearby castle.

Knaresborough has a bit of infamy top it as the constable of Knaresborough in 1170 along with four other knights murdered the Archbishop at Canterbury cathedral and then hid in Knaresborough castle. The castle tended to frequently be occupied by rebels and at one point in town Scottish rebel burned much of the castle and town. The castle was eventually overtaken by the government and ordered to be destroyed, eventually much of the stone from the castle was used in the town buildings.

If you are in Knaresborough during the summer months then you should attend the Knaresborough bed race. Teams get together and decorate bed frames. The frames are first paraded through town, then stripped of decorations. The beds are then pushed by teams for a race, eventually crossing the river and climbing the muddy bank. The first team to cross the finish line wins. Beds that are not designed properly tend to sink in the river.

Knaresborough also holds an annual Fun Run in May. The money from this event goes to the PTA. There is also a Festival of Entertainment and Visual Arts that occurs during the summer months and is held in the town center.

One famous attraction in Knaresborough is Mother Shipton’s Cave and Historic Park. Mary Shipton was a famous prophetess and lived during the time of Elizabeth I and Henry VIII. Alongside the cave is a Petrifying well in which was thought that by bathing in the water you could be miraculously healed.

Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Estate are lovely estates to visit. They have extensive grounds and the abbey ruins are the largest in Britain. Additionally there is a deer park, temples, cascades, bridges, ornamental lakes, statues, St. Mary’s church and an Elizabethian mansion.

Check here for a wide selection of Knaresborough hotels.

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