The sealed lead box was discovered in 1972 during alterations to the 12th century Trinity Church tower. When the alterations - converting the church to the present day Green Howards Museum - were completed the box was placed in the wall behind glass. The inscription scratched on the box read:
This box contains documents relating to the solar eclipse of 1927 and to the Richmond Pageant of 1929
To be opened in the year 1999
The box was opened on Saturday 4 December 1999 by the then Mayor Cllr, Anne Frizell. The box can now be seen in the Richmondshire Museum
In February 2002 a new box was put in the same place as the old, with instructions and a plaque indicating the box is to be opened on 23 September 2090
In 2090 the townspeople of Richmond will be able to find out about life in 2002, and about the two total eclipses of the sun visible from England in the 20th century, when they come to open a lead box which was walled up inside the Green Howards Regimental Museum by the Mayor of Richmond.
The new Richmond Eclipse Box was put in the same place as the old one, a niche inside Trinity Church Tower. The box bears an inscription with instructions that it is not to be opened until the next eclipse on 23 September 2090. The niche was be given a clear cover so that the box is visible, with a plaque placed alongside it giving details of its placing in 2002 and the date for its reopening in 2090.
The contents of the new box were gathered by the Town Clerk of Richmond at that time, Dr. Peter Clarke. They include a wide range of printed information about Richmond, including a picture of the then current Town Councillors, tourist information, details of Richmond traditions and a set of the Mayor's Audit Money, a CD made by Richmond School on its Millennium tour of the United States, and material from the two ancient Guilds of Richmond - the Fellmongers and the Grocers, Haberdashers and Mercers.
There is also some information from the 1929 box about the 1927 eclipse and details of the 1999 eclipse. The Mayor of the time, Cllr. Tom Burrows placed the new box back in the niche in Trinity Church Tower.
A copy of the then current (2002) Richmond Online website on CD was also added... well almost! If, in 2090, they can still read CDs, they wont be able to read this one because they packed & sealed the blank CD used in the photo-call, instead of the actual website CD - LOL!
Another Time Capsule was created during creation of a stone seat on the western edge of town. The seat is part of a new section of stone wall that has been re-built by ROSA
The wall borders three pieces of the land owned by the charity - Westfields, Jack Kings Wood and the Nine Acre Field. Easily accessible by foot, and just to the side of the popular Coast to Coast footpath, the seat provides spectacular views of the castle and other Richmond landmarks.
Around 80 volunteers have been involved in the construction of the seat and stone wall, which has been carried out with the expertise of the Dry Stone Walling Association of Great Britain.