The 12th-century great keep of this castle, considered to be one of the finest examples of a Norman fortress in England, towers 100 feet above the river. There are excellent views of the countryside, once you climb the 130 steps to the top. Originally built around 1071 by the first earl of Richmond, the castle retains much of its curtain wall and three chapels. There's also an even earlier, two-story structure known as Scolland's Hall, which was built in the 11th century
and is believed to be the oldest great hall in England. During World War I, conscientious objectors were imprisoned in the castle, and you can still see their graffiti. A path along the river leads to the ruins of golden-stone Easby Abbey. One historical note: when Henry Tudor (son of the earl of Richmond) became Henry VII in 1485, he began calling his palace in southwest London after the site of his family seat, leading to that part of the city becoming known as Richmond.