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This is the place to search for places to visit and things of interest in Britain, by name, location, type, keyword – or just have a browse. It is a growing directory – over 780 entries have been listed as of July 2020. Most entries have links for further information.
Yorkshire and the Humber
The remains of Isurium Brigantum, a significant Roman town between the 2nd and 5th centuries AD, lie largely under the charming village of Aldborough ('old borough'). Little of the Roman town is visible - small sections of town wall and a couple of good mosaics. There's a small museum, and it's a pleasant stroll round the site, but people expecting to see a great deal might be disappointed.
All Saints' Burton in Lonsdale, with its tall spire, is a prominent landmark across the valley of the River Greta. It is relatively new, replacing an earlier chapel of ease that stood somewhere to the east of the current building, possibly on ground that is now part of a closed churchyard. It was designed in 'early English style' by the Lancaster partnership of Paley and Austin, was funded by Thomas Thornton and constructed between 1868 and 1876 partly on the site of his grandparents’ cottage. It is an attractive church, with an interesting lych gate - probably built at the same time as the church. Its first vicar was the Rev Frederick Binyon, father of the poet Lawrence Binyon. Occasional concerts and events are held inside.
Anne Bronte is the only one of the famous siblings not to be buried in the family vault at Haworth. She worked as a governess in Scarborough and journeyed the 70 miles from home when she was ill, hoping the sea air would help. She arrived on Saturday 25 May 1849, very ill, accompanied by her sister Charlotte and a friend, Ellen and died on the Monday. Charlotte commissioned the very worn headstone seen today, but returning 3 years afterwards found a number of errors on it. The errors, whatever they were, were seemingly corrected – but the inscription still has Anne’s age wrong. A modern plaque has been placed on the ground by the Bronte Society.
St Mary's Church dates from the 12th century and is interesting in its own right. Canons were based in the churchyard during the Civil War, from which Parliamentary troops exchanged fire with the Royalists in the castle.
The Battle of Marston Moor was fought near York on 2nd July 1644 and was one of the major battles of the English Civil War. It engaged an estimated 18,000 Royalists and 28,000 combined Parliamentarians and Scots, lasted approximately 2 hours and resulted in a decisive defeat for King Charles. Some 4,000 Royalists were killed and a further 1,500 captured. One of the consequences was that the Royalists lost control of the North of England. This was the battle that helped make Oliver Cromwell's name as one of the commanders. The battlefield is situated on mainly agricultural land between the villages of Long Marston and Tockwith. A road runs across the area of the fighting, as it did in the 17th century and there is an obelisk memorial with an information panel.
Post code is approximate.
A significant battle fought here on 25th September 1066, between King Harold's Saxon-English army and an invading force of Norsemen under Harald Hardrada and Tostig Godwinson. The English victory was emphatic, but Harold then had to march south to meet the invading Normans at Hastings. There is not much to see in the village, thought there is a memorial in the centre.
NB - this is nowhere near Bolton, Lancashire!
Bolton Castle is a 14th century fortress built on a grand scale by Sir Richard le Scrope - whose descendents still own the place. Mary, Queen of Scots, was held here for 6 months and was allowed to use the time hunting and learning English. It was besieged, and badly damaged, by Parliamentary forces during the English Civil War, but is still remarkably intact and well worth a visit. Great views of the Yorkshire Dales from the battlements. Pleasant medieval gardens. The adjacent chapel of St Oswald and the village of Castle Bolton are both charming.
Warning: Bolton Castle is used as a wedding venue - check it is open to visitors before making a special trip.
Weird and wonderful rock formations formed by erosion millions of years ago. Very popular with walkers, climbers and families, so can get crowded. Good place for a picnic and there are also facilities on site. Walk or cycle there, or pay and NT parking nearby.
The Brontë family moved to Haworth in 1820, when Patrick Brontë was appointed ‘perpetual curate’ of the parish church. They lived in the Parsonage, where the three immensely talented sisters wrote some of the finest literature in the English language. Though it will overwhelm those who do not actually worship the Brontës, the Parsonage Museum is fascinating. And the town of Haworth is always worth a visit anyway. Don't miss the Gothic splendour of the churchyard!
Burton in Lonsdale is a small village at the western edge of North Yorkshire, close to the borders with Lancashire and Cumbria. Its castle, locally known simply as Castle Hill, looks like a classic motte and bailey affair. It is a large and imposing site, sitting on the outskirts of the village next to the Victorian church and would have dominated the route alongside the river Greta from Hornby (Lancaster) to Ingleton. The motte is some 9.6m higher than the surrounding fields and retains a breastwork wall around the upper part of the mound. A nearly square bailey lies on the west side of the motte and a second semi-lunar bailey is to the south. There are remains of both the outer defensive ditch and a counterscarp bank outside this. Excavations carried out in 1904 suggested that the castle site began as a ringwork in the 12th century and was converted into a motte some time later. Possibly, the castle was built to help secure the supply route to the recently established Norman castle at Carlisle. The castle appears to have been ‘paved’ – ie covered in stones, which would have made it look really impressive. However, based on the finds uncovered in 1904, it has also been suggested that the site might have been originally prehistoric. So it’s all very uncertain. We don’t know who built the castle. Just before the Norman Conquest, Burton was part of the manor of Whittington and owned by Tostig – who was slain at the Battle of Stamford Bridge. William I granted the land to his followers, who became the de Mowbray family. Burton Castle was used as a centre of administration for their surrounding lands which included large swathes of North West Yorkshire and Lancashire, but the site went out of use in the mid-14th century. Accounts of 1130 refer to expenses at ‘de castro de Burtona de Lanesdala’ for payment of a ‘militis’ (knight), 10 ‘servientes’ (sergeants), a ‘janitoris’ (gatekeeper) and a ‘vigil’(watchman) This is the earliest mention of a castle in the village.
The site can be viewed from the road but is on private land and not generally accessible to the public.
A memorial erected in 1898 to England's first known poet, the Anglo-Saxon Caedmon. He has a nice story. The memorial is in the churchyard of St Mary's church - it's the first thing you see at the top of the 199 steps leading up from the town.
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