Dr Arnold Kellett has established that the first Maundy Money was given out in Knaresborough by King John. Knaresborough Forest, which extended far south, is reputed to have been one of King John's favourite hunting grounds.
During the Civil War, following the Battle of Marston Moor (July 2 1644), the castle was besieged by Parliamentary forces. The castle eventually fell and in 1646 an order was made by Parliament for its destruction (but not carried out till 1648). The destruction was mainly done by citizens looting the stone. Many town centre buildings are built of 'castle stone'.
Every year the town hosts a number of large social events, chief among them being the "Knaresborough Bed Race". Every summer, teams of locals and visitors, comprising six runners and one passenger, decorate special tube frame 'beds' for a parade through the town. Then, once the beds have been stripped of their non-essential decorations, they compete to push the bed on a combination race/time trial through the town. The climax of the race comes when the teams must cross the River Nidd and climb a steep muddy bank to reach the finish line. Beds without sufficient flotation devices have been known to sink. Although most teams are local, competitors often come from across the country and from Knaresborough's German twin town Bebra to compete. Past celebrities who have taken part include James Whale and Peter Duncan, who famously ran the course for his show 'Duncan Dares'.
Another notable sporting feature is the Knaresborough Fun Run, which takes place in May every year. This is organised by King James's School, and raises money for the PTA. There is a 2.5 mile course, run round the town, taking in Abbey Road, and Crag Top, and a 10K route, which heads out towards the villages.
There is also a yearly arts festival, FEVA (Festival of Entertainment and Visual Arts), which has been running since 2001. This takes place in the summer in various parts of the town centre.
Knaresborough Forest Cricket Club were crowned Nidderdale League Division 3 winners in 2005 then promoted from Division 2 as runners-up in the following season.
Gurkhas create a gastro magnet ; From the outside it looks like a well-kept olde English country pub, but The Roadmaker is owned by four former Gurkhas and its restaurant offers an authentic Nepalese experience in this incongruous setting on Gloucestershire's frontier.
Nov 11, 2010; From the outside it looks like a well-kept olde English country pub, but The roadmaker is owned by four former Gurkhas and...