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Harrying Of The North

The Harrying of the North. Gouache on paper, by Patrick Nicolle (1907–95). Private collection. (© Look and Learn/Bridgeman Images)

Richmond Castle in North Yorkshire was built immediately after the Norman Conquest, probably by William the Conqueror or his kinsman Count Alan Rufus who commanded troops at the Battle of Hastings and was given Richmond along with vast estates dotted around England. The purpose of the castle was likely to have been to subdue local Saxons who were not happy living under Norman rule – most had lost land and titles to the invaders and as a result rebelled. As we see repeatedly in English…