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Famous Landmark Opens Its Doors As Part Of Richmond’s Summer Georgian Festival
Thursday - July 28, 2016
Culloden Tower - one of Richmond’s most recognised buildings - will open for a rare public viewing as part of a summer festival celebrating the town’s rich Georgian heritage.

GeorgeFest16 is being held in Richmond from 15 August to 2 September and there will be a wide selection of events and activities taking place throughout the three-week period – both indoor and outdoor – with many of them free of charge. They include themed-guided walks, fascinating talks, open-air cinema and even the opportunity to sample Georgian food.

Culloden Tower is one of the many buildings in the town to date from the Georgian period and this impressive folly constructed as a monument to celebrate the victory of the Duke of Cumberland’s army over Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1746 dominates the townscape. Now owned by the Landmark Trust and let as a holiday residence, the building is not normally open to the public but the Trust has kindly agreed to hold two open days on the weekend of 20 and 21 August (from 10am to 4pm) as part of the festival. Admission to the property will be free and no booking is required.

Supported by Richmond Town Council, GeorgeFest16 is organised by the Welcome to Richmond Group, a sub-group of the Richmond and Lower Swaledale Business Association made up of the town’s key visitor attractions and representatives of the local business community to encourage tourism to the area.

This is the second year for the festival and builds on the success of last year’s event, which was widely attended by locals and tourists alike.

“GeorgeFest16 is even bigger and better than before,” said Lynda Powell, Chair of the Welcome to Richmond Group and Director of the Green Howards Museum. “Because so many people were keen to get involved, we have extended the festival for an extra week, which means there are twice as many events and activities.”

As well as the Culloden Tower open days, new events this year include open-air cinema at nearby Middleton Lodge; an antiques roadshow style event and talk at The Georgian Theatre Royal with Thomas Watson’s auction house; and the opportunity to discover what was happening at Richmond Castle during Georgian times with special guided tours.

There is also an afternoon tea and performance by the ever-popular History Wardrobe team at the newly renovated King’s Head Hotel – another iconic Georgian building – as well as children’s activities at The Georgian Theatre Royal, Green Howards Museum and Richmondshire Museum, and historic walks and talks.

“In addition to showcasing the fine Georgian architecture and physical landmarks for which the town is so famous, the festival will look at the Georgians themselves in order to bring this fascinating period of Richmond’s history to life,” said Lynda Powell.

“Where people lived, what they wore, how they spent their leisure time, what toys their children played with and what they liked to eat will all be revealed at the many events and activities on offer. The festival is also aimed at all age groups so we hope that there will be something among the varied programme for everyone to enjoy,” she added. 

The main events and activities are featured in a GeorgeFest16 leaflet that has been distributed around the area and there is a GeorgeFest16 page with full event details on www.richmond.org/georgefest

Photo: The luxurious interior of Culloden Tower, which is hosting open days as part of GeorgeFest16.

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