A TOWN will pay tribute to its strong royal connections to a medieval king this weekend.

With opinions on Richard III still divided along partisan lines, he remains a popular figure in Yorkshire where Middleham Castle in Wensleydale was his favourite amongst the many royal residencies.

To celebrate this link to Middleham, a weekend of varied talks and concerts is being held at locations around the ancient town.

The castle is the focus for many of the activities - musicians, dancers and fighting skills will be on display at the town’s imposing fortress. A medieval historical market, along with the chance to meet the King and Queen themselves are on offer.

Formal events start at St Alkelda’s Church - often frequented by both "Kingmaker" the Earl of Warwick and his protégé, King Richard. On the Friday, there is an evening of mediaeval music and song followed by a beacon lighting at the castle.

At the Key Centre on Saturday a number of expert speakers take centre stage. Amongst the guests is Philippa Langley the woman whose drive and determination led to the discovery of Richard's body under a Leicester carpark, thus solving a 400-year-old mystery.

On the Sunday, Ms Langley will be joined by, John Ashdown-Hill and other authorities for a similar event also at the Key Centre, however different topics may be discussed.

Middleham Castle manager Gillian Savage said: “The weekend promises to be full of exciting and interesting events both here at the castle and around the town.

“There is a chance to hear some real experts on what is a fascinating period of our history.”

Events take place Friday June 30 until Sunday July 2. For further information and tickets contact the Middleham Key Centre 01969-624411.