Taking place between Saturday 18 August and Monday 27 August, GeorgeFest18 has something for everyone with a wide range of themed events and activities. As well as a packed programme of fascinating guided walks and talks, there are many events that reveal some of the town’s hidden Georgian treasures. Culloden Tower, Temple Lodge and Millgate House are host venues for a musical soiree; and there are open days at Culloden Tower and Mr Yorke’s Walled Garden.
There will also be films, singing, dancing, gin-drinking and merrymaking, as well as the opportunity to find out more about the secret diaries of an elusive 18th-century Richmond resident!
RICHMOND - A Gem of Georgian Town
Richmond was founded around 1071 but people have lived in the area since the earliest times. This is a town that oozes history but for many its heyday was the Georgian era, spanning the years 1714 to 1837.
During this period, Richmond flourished – thanks to the prosperity brought by trade in corn, wool, knitting and lead. It became an important regional hub for social activities, bringing with it wealth and status. Fine buildings sprang up and the town gained a reputation for beauty and elegance with a ‘season’ that became very popular with polite society.
Georgian architecture is still dominant in the town today. The imposing King’s Head Hotel opened in 1725 becoming Richmond’s largest hotel. The Town Hall was built in 1756 to provide a facility for balls and other assemblies; a huge grandstand – now in ruins – was positioned on the new racecourse; and in 1788 Samuel Butler built his now famous theatre.
Other key Richmond landmarks from this period inlcude the impressive folly Culloden Tower and the obelisk in the Market Place. Scenic walks, such as Castle Walk - the promenade under the castle wall - also emerged.
Large numbers of private houses were either rebuilt or ‘Georgianised’ during this time and can still be seen in the centre of town, particularly around the Market Place, Newbiggin, Bargate, Frenchgate and Maison Dieu.
The events are run by different organisations within the town and booking and ticket details are given in the individual event listings at the link above.
Staff and volunteers at Richmond’s heritage attractions (The Castle, The Georgian Theatre Royal, The Green Howards Museum, The Richmondshire Museum and The Station) and the Visitor Information Centre (located in the Library on Queen’s Road) are happy to share their knowledge of the town and advise on festival events.
Travelling to Richmond & Parking
Some free parking is available in and around the Market Place using a disc system. Collect a disc from a local shop, set your time of arrival and display in your windscreen. This gives two hours free parking and is unlimited after 6pm and on Sundays. There are also short and long-stay pay and display car parks in the town. Map of event locations & parking
GeorgeFest is organised by Welcome to Richmond, a group dedicated to promoting tourism and the visitor experience within the town.
Welcome to Richmond would like to acknowledge Richmond Town Council for its generous sponsorship of the festival and also thank the many people who are participating in and organizing events. Thanks also to Guy Carpenter, Tom Kolour and Andy Russell for use of photographic images.