RICHMONDS OF THE WORLD - a global network of all Richmonds


a global network of all Richmonds


The ROTW Project..


Richmond Castle, North Yorkshire

The Richmond name has had a massive impact on the planet over the last 200-300 years, and could now be considered the biggest brand name in the world.

The Richmond story started in 1071 AD following the Norman victory over the Saxons at the Battle of Hastings. William the Conqueror rewarded his senior officials with large areas of land, and as a result, Richmond Castle in North Yorkshire was the first stone built castle in England. Henry VII was Duke of Richmond and liked his favourite earldom so much that he changed the name of an area known as ‘Sheen’ to ‘Richmond’ in 1485, and today it is known as Richmond upon Thames, in London. Richmond in London has been home to many Kings and Queens of England, and is still home to many famous and important people today. Next came Richmond, Virginia, which was named after the Richmond in London because of its lovely river.

The expansion of the Richmond brand/name was largely due to the Dukes of Richmond who were pioneers in USA, Canada, South Africa and the Caribbean. Richmond, Staten Island is where most of the people landed who travelled to America from Europe, looking for a new life.

The rest is history, and in 2021 Richmond Castle and the Richmond name will be 950 years old. Lots of candles to blow out!

Enjoy Richmonds of the World

Charles Barclay Simpson

The Vision

The goal of Richmonds Of The World is to create a global network of Richmonds through which exchanges of sport, music, homeswaps and especially student exchanges can be facilitated.

There are many large universities in the Richmonds of the world, including Melbourne, British Columbia, Toronto, Virginia & California.

The ties between the Richmonds of the UK and the Richmonds of the USA are strong and varied throughout history: Richmond, North Yorkshire is home to Kiplin Hall, which is the home of the Founding Fathers of Maryland. Many of the pilgrim fathers also came from South Yorkshire. George Washington's family seat comes from Tyne and Wear, a region very close to Richmond, North Yorkshire.

It is our hope that travel, tourism and student exchanges will increase through this website, and that people from Richmonds all over the world will be able to visit and discover their sister-cities all over the globe.

How it Started

Since the arrival of the internet it has become much easier for the various Richmonds around the globe to keep in touch more closely with one other.

In the 1980's a global Richmond network was set up by the Mayor of Richmond, North Yorkshire and Roy Cross, which took the form of a leaflet featuring all the Richmonds around the world, a copy of which was mailed to all the other Richmonds in 1980. The ROW Concept was the also an idea of Councillor Serge Lourie, Leader of Richmond Council, Surrey, and of Rick Tatnell of Richmond, Virginia, with the purpose of linking all towns and cities named Richmond and encouraging mutual co-operation and international friendships.

For the 2000 Millennial Celebrations, Graham Walker and Dennys Clarkson (Richmond, North Yorkshire) produced a pictorial calendar which was also sent to Richmond settlements around the World.

In 2001 the local web site for Richmond North Yorkshire, Richmond OnLine, and the Richmond Town Council started a section on Richmond OnLine ( hoping to list all known Towns, Cities and Villages named Richmond.The page is no longer updated but can be seen here: Richmonds of the World on Richmond OnLine

In 2007, Jamestown, Virginia celebrated its 400th birthday as the Founding settlement in Virginia and the USA. Serge Lourie, then leader of Richmond upon Thames Council attended the fabulous two-week celebrations with a party of 20, including Jason Debney who is based in Richmond Park and working for Thames Landscape Strategy.

2008 saw a Richmonds of the World meeting at Richmond University, London. Delegates from Richmond, Virginia and Richmond Council came with idea of encouraging mutual co-operation and international friendships with all other Richmonds; Serge Lourie (then leader of Council) welcomed Rick Tatnall from Virginia

In 2008 there was also a ROW photographic exhibition (commissioned by Richmond London Arts Service) displayed in the Old Town Hall, Richmond upon Thames.

Summer 2009 saw the exhibition moved to The Station, Richmond, North Yorkshire, where it was a great success with 12 pages of complimentary comments, and 11,000 visitors. Four representatives from Richmond, London came to the opening where they met Mayor Gillson and William Hague (MP for Richmond at the time). The Station won a National Rail Heritage Award for its conversion from a dilapidated building into a venue that includes a 2-screen cinema, restaurant, shops, education centre, art gallery and meeting rooms.

May 2012 saw 8 people from Richmond, Virginia attend the New Mayor of Richmond Ceremony in Richmond Town Hall (North Yorkshire) and were a given rousing reception.

In 2021 Richmond, North Yorkshire will celebrate its 950th birthday... watch this space!

Barclay Simpson

Origin of the Name

Richmond, North Yorkshire

Richmond, the capital of Swaledale, was the first town in the world called by this name.

Swaledale was named for the River Swale which flows through Richmond. The word Swale came from the Danish name ‘Suales,’ meaning fast-flowing (the River Swale is the fastest flowing river in England).

In the 9th century, the Danes came to England via Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Lake District. Originally called Hindrelac, Richmond was mentioned in the Doomsday Book (which is held at the National Archives in Kew): Hindrelac is an Anglo-Viking name thought to describe a woodland clearing frequented by a hind or female deer.

The present name of this historic Swaledale town is Old French, and derives from ‘Riche-Monte,’ a common French place name which means strong hill. It was here in 1071 that a French Count named Alan the Red (Rufus) of Brittany built a castle on the lofty hill overlooking the River Swale. Alan was a Breton and he and his Knights had come from St Aubin du Cormier in Brittany. There are 57 communities called St Aubin in France. A Castle was built at St Aubin du Cormier to much the same design as Richmond in about 1170, but it is now a ruin.

Richmonds Of The World Book

Written by Barclay Simpson, the ebook edition of Richmonds Of The World contains all the information on this website in book form, with a few unique extras. 

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With thanks to: James Hargreaves, Joe Hopkins, Andrew Russell, Paul Jackson, Mike Amos, Malcolm Warner, Angela Ivy, Anedra Bourne, Mike Ritchie & Rick Tatnall for all help, information and co-operation.