November’s Letter from the Curator (2019)

Dear Friends,

Mary Queen of Scots once described Tutbury Castle as ‘exposed to all winds and injuries of heaven’, and after the last few weeks it’s easy to see what she meant. Mary arrived in the depths of winter both in 1569 and in 1585, and the wintery weather contributed to her impression of the Castle as cold and unwelcoming.

Winter is still our closed season today in terms of general opening hours, but we can at least offer a warmer welcome to our guests, and the coming months are among the busiest we have had for this time of year.

We have already got November off to a glowing start with our annual bonfire and fireworks event. Thanks to all of you who came, and to our entertainers, especially our friends Jubilee Fireworks. They have been working with us now for many years, and we know how good they can be, but it was still a pleasure to have a number of our regular visitors commenting that they thought it was the best fireworks display yet!

Moving forward, Mary Queen of Scots herself will be welcoming guests for mulled wine and mince pies next month, while the saucy Nell Gwynne knows exactly how to make visitors feel at home! We will also be holding cinema days for children on weekends in December in the marquee, and of course the Great Hall with its roaring fire provides a cosy venue for Christmas parties.

It is twenty years this month since I took the lease on this amazing Castle, and over that time welcomed so many visitors through the gates, many of whom I have come to regard as friends. We look forward to seeing many of our friends at our smaller events over the winter before we re-open for our twentieth season at Easter next year.

Best wishes,

Lesley