Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Helmsley Revisited

If memory serves me correctly (which is by no means always the case), the first time I've been to Helmsley was in 2003, when Steve and I spent a week in Scarborough and went on several day trips by bus from there.

Until this year in August, I have not been back.
Now, getting into the car after our walk down from Sutton Bank, Aunt J and Uncle B suggested we drive to Helmsley for something to eat.

Of course, the ruins of the castle are what I remembered best about this pretty market town of just above 1.500 inhabitants (I'd call it a village at that size, but it counts as a town, administratively speaking):

Although there had been a wooden castle on the same place since around 1120, the remains of the East Tower now visible give something of an idea of what the castle looked like in the 1270s. Ownership changed frequently until in 1644, during the English Civil War, the castle was deliberately made unusable so as not to constitute a military advantage anymore. It has lain in ruins ever since and left to decay until English Heritage took over its care.

I remember Steve and I paying admission fee at a tiny wooden shed and then wandering around on our own for as long as we pleased. Now, there is a big, modern visitor centre between the car park and the castle. We didn't go in, since our main interest at the moment was finding somewhere to eat, but it certainly looked interesting enough to go back some other time.


On our way into the town centre around the market square, we came across this garden with beautiful sweet peas and scarecrows in Medieval costume:


Across a little beck, which I also remembered from my first visit:
 


We had sandwiches and tea/coffee at a nice, not too busy place (it was long past lunch time anyway). Afterwards, we went for a stroll across the market and along some of the narrow streets leading off it. The flowers on the shop fronts were impossible not to notice:


The Church of All Saints was where we went next. A lot of what you see there today was done in the late 19th century, but the original building is many centuries older: already since before the Norman Conquest, there was a church at this place, and one is mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1086.



Outside in the church yard, a particularly handsome building caught our eyes. I climbed on the top of a small mound of earth (don't worry, I did not misuse a tombstone!) to look over the wall and take the last picture:


And as if all this - Coxwold, Kilburn, The White Horse, Sutton Bank, the woodland walk and Helmsley - were not enough, we managed to top it all by our next and last stop on that wonderful outing. You'll see what I mean in my next post.

14 comments:

  1. What lovely photos indeed, thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thank you for looking at them - that's part of the fun!

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  2. It's always such fun to see your travels!

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    1. Glad you see it that way; it is fun to write about my trips, too!

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  3. I wish I could have been with you! I think I love the flowers the most, the flowers with the scarecrow and the ones in the hanging baskets, just gorgeous.

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    1. They truly were gorgeous, Kay. But wait until you see what we found in Ripley Castle's walled gardens... that is still a few posts away, though.

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    1. Thank you, Jim! Not sure if this is your first time on my blog; anyway: Welcome to My Mental Library!

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  5. Was the painting of the church interior new in the 1800s? It reminds me of some medieval church painting, but not quite the same. I wish I knew more about this......The entire journey so far seems amazing. You saw so much. I'm so interested to see more!

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    1. Yes, Kristi, it was done in the late 1800s. I am sure you'll find this website interesting: http://www.helmsleyparish.org.uk/churchwatchquestions.htm
      Actually we saw a lot more - my posts would go on for ever if I were to write about every little detail we did and saw! I have to be selective and mention only what I hope will be the most interesting and/or best bits.

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  6. I'm pretty sure I've never been to Helmsley but it looks like a place well worth a visit.

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    1. I am sure it is, Graham; we've only skimmed the surface so to speak but there looks to be a lot more.

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  7. That colourful flower arrangement - wow!

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    1. It truly had a "wow" effect on us, too!

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