I had visited York twice before, the first time with my primary school thirty years ago, and am thus familiar with the classic medieval and subsequent attractions. On my second visit, my late mother and I went to the same venues, thus I was determined to visit the subsequently built Jorvik centre.
In this I was thwarted because our visit was limited to ninety minutes on a Friday afternoon, one of the disadvantages of using a hotel in Middlesborough. Having walked as far as the Minster, I discovered that the Richard III Museum was close at hand. This entertaining little gem is inside Monk Bar and thus very difficult for the disabled visitor. Jorvik will just have to wait until next time.
Saturday was far more satisfactory. Whilst Cardinal Morton is reputed to have an adverse effect upon the weather when Ricardians go on tour, Mary “Tudor” has yet to develop such influence. There was some bad weather – a veritable downpour over the fishing village of Filey in the morning – that extended our visit to Scarborough. Here, a mere six miles away, the weather was fine and I made an immediate beeline for the famous Castle.
This great structure was held by Richard during his brief reign and, apart from the 1557 rebellion, was attacked during the Pilgrimage of Grace and slighted in the Civil War after a long siege. If you wish to hear the official line on Thomas Stafford’s capture of the castle, take an official audio guide and dial 21 at the right moment.
Scarborough also includes a Richard III House, which I was unable to reach, but I had one surprise. Anne Bronte’s grave is adjacent and her date of death was ……… 28 May.
On Sunday, we were allocated three hours in Whitby. The main attractions here are the Abbey, a Captain James Cook Museum and a Dracula theme. I had just enough time for the Abbey and a nice lunch near the coach park. The Abbey was first managed by Saxon princesses and, at the Reformation, sold to the Cholmley family, one of whom was the Royalist leader who tried to defend Scarborough Castle. Sir Hugh, like Lord Capell, had been a Parliamentarian when the Civil War and his family were to recover on the Restoration.