Ghosts of Richmond Castle

Rising above the River Swale, Richmond Castle was built by Alan the Red between 1070 and 1086. The castle was constructed to defend the Norman estates against dispossessed Anglo-Saxon nobility defeated during the Norman Conquest of England.

Richmond Castle


Residing as one of the largest estates in medieval England, Richmond Castle still possesses a beautiful, intact 12th century keep and partially ruined curtain walls. Although the castle did not serve a significant role in English history, it holds a few secrets.

Legends suggest secret underground passages exist between the castle and Easby Abbey, located a few miles downriver. Stories of a ghostly drummer boy still playing his drums surfaced after disappearing in the hidden tunnels long ago, never to be seen again.

Richmond Castle is said to be the resting place of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. Presumably, they lie sleeping below the castle walls in a cavern awaiting the day they return to defend the realm in England's greatest time of need.

Another legend relates to King Arthur and The Knights of the Round Table.

There once lived a man named Potter Thompson, whose wife was somewhat of a harridan. To escape her carping one day, Potter went for a long walk, eventually finding himself along the River Swale, just below Richmond Castle. As he stopped for a rest, Potter noticed an opening in the rocks below the castle. Upon investigating and peering inside, he saw a long passageway with a faint light in the distance. Potter entered and proceeded towards the light, where he found himself in a cavern surrounded by a sleeping king and his knights, dressed in full armor. Potter instantly recognized the royal figure as King Arthur due to the horn and legendary sword Excalibur, which were both resting on a nearby table.

Excited by his find, Potter decided to take Excalibur so he could prove to everyone that his story was true. However, as he removed the sword from its sheath, the sleeping knights began to stir. Consequently, Potter became scared and quickly decided to leave the cave. Upon his departure, he heard a sorrowful voice say:

"Potter Thompson, Potter Thompson
If Thou hadst either drawn
The sword, or blown the horn,
Thou wouldst have been the luckiest man
That ever yet was born."

Once outside and able to regain his composure, Potter turned back towards the entrance for another attempt, only to discover the opening had disappeared. He frantically searched the rocky banks of the castle but never again located the secret access once revealed to him.