Richmond Castle cell block graffiti to be examined at new exhibition

Graffiti from the cell block at Richmond Castle.

Covering the walls of the 19th century cell block at Richmond Castle are thousands of examples of graffiti ranging from delicate portraits to bold political, religious statements to pastoral scenes and regimental numbers.

These often intricate drawings provide an extraordinary insight into the lives of those who were incarcerated or stationed at Richmond Castle across 100 years.

Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, this touring community exhibition showcases the conservation and engagement work that English Heritage has undertaken and celebrates the work of dedicated volunteers passionate about revealing the lives of the men and women behind the graffiti.

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Visitors to this temporary exhibition will be able to explore the cells through English Heritage’s bespoke computer based virtual tour, discover the science behind the graffiti’s conservation and read about the latest research findings.

The exhibition will open on Saturday and run for two weeks.

The exhibition is free to all and will be located at The Station in Richmond.

It is hoped that the exhibition will be hosted in venues from village halls and schools to museums – if you think your local area would be interested then contact Angela Hobson Community Participation Officer based at Richmond Castle.

All details of future exhibitions will be advertised by Richmond Castle’s Facebook page.

Kevin Booth, senior curator at English Heritage, said: “The exhibition is our opportunity to share with visitors the exceptional work, level of commitment and immense amount of time and effort that our volunteers have given to this project.

“We hope that locating this exhibition at The Station will attract people who are regular visitors to Richmond Castle and those who have yet to enjoy this unique English Heritage destination.

“We are very lucky to have such a nationally important site within the community.”

Angela Hobson, community participation officer at English Heritage, added: “For me the most important part of the exhibition is showcasing some of our volunteer researchers and broader community’s contribution to the project, this exhibition is a brilliant opportunity for individuals to come and discover more about this unique historical record and a thank you to all individuals that have contributed.”

This community exhibition has been enabled thanks to the support of National Lottery players through a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).