Knaresborough's Royal Connection

A Royal Connection

In 1210 while staying at Knaresborough Castle, King John 'on the Day of the Lord's Supper' gave to each of thirteen paupers of the town, thirteen pence and two shillings and two pence for 'robes', a knife, a pair of drawers and a pair of shoes. John was in dispute with the Pope and the English barons and this was surely a display of the monarchy's strength and power.

It's a splendid walk from the castle, through the Market Place and down Kirkgate (a street named by the Vikings) to the Parish Church, then dedicated to Our Lady, (St. Mary) but now dedicated to St. John the Baptist, and one can easily imagine such a grand procession taking place.

In 1985 the Royal Almonry recognised Knaresborough's importance in the Royal Maundy (thanks to local historian, Arnold Kellett) and in 2010, the late David Walker, Churchwarden Emeritus, attended the ceremony at Derby Cathedral and received the Royal Benevolence on behalf of the people of Knaresborough, eight hundred years after the first occasion.

The church has been called 'The Queen's Church' as it was rebuilt, after being left a smouldering ruin in 1318 by Scottish raiders, by Philippa, Queen of Edward III, who was given the castle, town, honour and Forest of Knaresborough as a marriage dower. The aisles were added a hundred years later but in the chancel, evidence of that earlier church of King John's day can still be seen.

                                                                                                                                               Derrick McRobert