Richmond Castle occupies a dominant position on the north side of the River Swale, in a part of Yorkshire granted by William I to Alan 'The Red', son of a Breton count. Construction began in c. 1071 on a large walled enclosure. Of about this date also is Scolland's Hall, one of the earliest examples in England of a hall in which the main reception room on the first floor was reached by an external staircase. Partitioned off at its south-east end was the lord's private chamber. This type of building was to become popular with the aristocracy and wealthy townspeople in the 12th century. Another 11th century structure is the small Chapel of St Nicholas which is built into Robin Hood's Tower on the east side of the enclosure.
In the years 1146 - 1171 Richmond Castle was held by Earl Conan, 'the little', Duke of Brittany. He probably began construction of the keep above the original main north gate which was replaced by another to one side The keep, which is very well-preserved, stands over 30m (100 feet) high. The entrance is at first floor level and the main hall is on the second floor.
Another court on the east side of the main enclosure, now known as the cockpit, has a fine 12th century gate.
Pevsner, N., 1966. The Buildings of England, Yorkshire: the North Riding (London, Penguin), 292-4
Weaver, J., 1989. Richmond Castle and Easby Abbey (English Heritage)