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Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Rare opening event will tower over town's Georgian celebrations

Culloden Tower, one of Richmond’s most recognised buildings, opens for a rare public viewing as part of a summer festival celebrating the town’s rich Georgian heritage.

The luxurious interior of Culloden Tower, which is hosting
 open days as part of GeorgeFest16

GeorgeFest16 from 15 August to 2 September features a range of events and activities including themed-guided walks, talks, open-air cinema and an opportunity to sample Georgian food.

The tower is one of many local buildings dating from the Georgian period and the folly constructed as a monument to celebrate the victory of the Duke of Cumberland’s army over Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1746 dominates the townscape.

The building is now owned by the Landmark Trust and let as a holiday residence. It's rarely open to the public but the trust will hold two open days on Saturday and Sunday 20 and 21 August.

The Richmond Town Council supported festival is run by the Welcome to Richmond Group, a sub-group of the Richmond and Lower Swaledale Business Association, made up of the town’s key visitor attractions and representatives of the local business community to encourage tourism to the area.

Welcome to Richmond group and Green Howards Museum director Lynda Powell said: “GeorgeFest16 is even bigger and better than before.

“Because so many people were keen to get involved, we have extended the festival for an extra week, which means there are twice as many events and activities.”

New events this year include open-air cinema at nearby Middleton Lodge; an antiques roadshow style event and talk at The Georgian Theatre Royal with Thomas Watson’s auction house; and the opportunity to discover what was happening at Richmond Castle during Georgian times with special guided tours.

There is also an afternoon tea and performance by the History Wardrobe team at the newly renovated King’s Head Hotel – another iconic Georgian building – as well as children’s activities at The Georgian Theatre Royal, Green Howards Museum and Richmondshire Museum, and historic walks and talks.

Lynda added: "In addition to showcasing the fine Georgian architecture and physical landmarks for which the town is so famous, the festival will look at the Georgians themselves in order to bring this fascinating period of Richmond’s history to life,”

“Where people lived, what they wore, how they spent their leisure time, what toys their children played with and what they liked to eat will all be revealed at the many events and activities on offer. The festival is also aimed at all age groups so we hope that there will be something among the varied programme for everyone to enjoy,”

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