Spectacular illuminations for historic North Yorkshire building

Knaresborough Castle.
Knaresborough Castle.

A spectacular new project will see one of Yorkshire's most famous landmarks lit up in the night sky for the first time in 50 years.

To coincide with this year’s feva festival, floodlights will be installed at Knaresborough Castle.
The exciting new illuminations will be the most dramatic use of this iconic building since it took part in the nationwide Jubilee Beacons project to mark The Queen’s 60th year on the throne in 2012.
The big switch-on of the floodlights will take place on Friday, August 11 to coincide with the launch of this year’s Knaresborough Festival of Entertainment and Visual Arts.
The main driving force behind illuminating the castle has been Knaresborough Town Council’s Castle Working Group, including chairman Coun Andrew Willoughby, Knaresborough’s Deputy Mayor Coun Christine Willoughby, Coun John Batt, Coun Bill Rigby and Coun Ed Darling.
Coun Willoughby said the aim of installing floodlights on the historic ruins overlooking the River Nidd for the first week of feva was to fly the flag for Knaresborough.
Coun Willoughby said: “The group was looking at ways of making more of the castle and also ways of making the castle come alive.
“Christine came up with the idea out of the blue. The timing has worked out really well for feva, too.”
The idea for the illuminations was also partly inspired by the success of a recent project at another of the town’s historic buildings - St John’s Church.
Coun Willougby said: “We knew about the lights at St John’s Church and got in touch with their project team. Before we knew it, the contractors and lighting company were telling us they would like to do it for us for no charge.”
As well as helping restore Knaresborough Castle to its full glory in a visible way, it is hoped the floodlights will boost tourism, too.
Brian Robinson, project leader for the St John’s lights and a champion of the floodlights project, said there could be long-term benefits for Knaresborough.
“The team have had to tread carefully with such a historic property but, if the response is positive, it could trigger a much more comprehensive scheme in future.”
The project has been supported by Knareborough Civic Society and Harrogate Borough Council.

A reader has kindly got in touch with us to tell us about the last time Knaresborough Castle was lit up.

Alan Pounder said: "The castle was lit by floodlights in the 1960's when I was a pupil at Castle Boys School (I left there in 1967 to attend King James's).
"My father, Edwin Pounder, was one of the electricians working on the lighting and I remember him taking me into the castle for a look around during one of the breaks from lessons. The floodlights were set up at various places around the castle and also on the upper floor area to light the interior of the King's Tower.
"The lights were all low-pressure sodium lights which produced a yellow light on the stonework. I am not sure whether the work was done by the North Eastern Electricity Board or possibly Allan Butterworth's which was a local electrical engineering company based on Castlegate/Green Dragon Yard"