Knaresborough has a fascinating and varied history. Its roots go back centuries and throughout its long history it has been peopled with a wealth of characters, from Hugh de Morville, murderer of Thomas Beckett on the steps of his cathedral at Canterbury, to Blind Jack, the world renowned road builder.
For most of its history, Knaresborough Castle has been in royal control, and it has retained this long tradition to the present day. It is now in the possession of the Crown, as part of the Queen's inheritance of the Duchy of Lancaster - something that irks most of the Yorkist residents of this pretty little town.
After the battle of Marston Moor in July 1644, the castle was besieged, and finally surrendered when cannon breached the wall on December 20. In 1646 Parliament ordered the castle to be rendered untenable, and by 1648 demolition had commenced.
Throughout the town, you can find these reminders of the Civil War, and of the Royalists' battle against the Commonwealth troops
This is the beautiful view from the curtain wall, looking out over the River Nidd, and the Forest of Knaresborough.
Incidentally, if you take the road towards Manchester out of Holmfirth, it climbs up over Saddleworth Moor - a bleak, desolate and wind-swept place. I rode over it in torrential rain, which only served to add to the misery and memories of the horrible history the place had during the early 60s.
One of the largest towns in Yorkshire, Leeds is a mecca for shoppers. The shopping area is huge - it would take you several days to visit all the shops, and the market is enormous, with fresh food catering for every ethnic taste, and so many other stalls it's unbelievable.
The city itself does not always present an appearance as impressive as some others, but it has its nice points.
a rather nice mural near the entrance to the markets
One of the many statues, this is Edward, The Black Prince in the City Square, a bronze by Thomas Brock. There are other statues of other worthy local people (Joseph Priestley, John Harrison, James Watt and Dr Walter Hook) and statues of eight nymphs, light standards by sculptor Alfred Drury.