April’s Letter from the Curator (2017)

Dear Friends,

We are so delighted to be opening again this Easter weekend. It seems like forever since we had families stretched out in the sun and children running about enjoying the grassy freedom of the Castle.

Of course we have had lots of private bookings such as weddings and cream teas and overnight ghost hunts but there is nothing like seeing the general public just arriving to enjoy themselves here in the heart of England. Welcome back!

This Easter Bank Holiday (Sunday and Monday) we have the magnificent Svartland Vikings here able to show the warlike and peaceful achievements of these extraordinary people. The living history camp and displays are enjoyed by young and old alike and if we didn’t have Vikings we would not hear the last of it as they are fascinating and in this glorious setting – even better. Dr. Gareth Williams will also be giving talks on the Vikings in the Great Hall for history buffs or for those who would just like to find out more. Gareth is the Viking expert at the British Museum and advisor to the famous Jorvik Centre and has over 100 publications in his name. Don’t let this academic grandeur put you off though as he is a warm and entertaining speaker keen to encourage as many people as possible of all ages to draw closer to history.

There are guided tours around the Great Hall, an Easter egg hunt and Treasure Hunt as well as a fairground for little ones and lots of see and do.

The first May bank holiday welcomes Normanis who are the largest medieval group to visit the castle in modern times. About 400 highly disciplined living history individuals will be here showing the work and leisure of our ancestors . There are even scriveners dressed as monks who will be preparing illuminated manuscripts by hand in the Church of St. Mary at the foot of the Castle hill. There will be war and peace to see and we are so thrilled to welcome them as they are brilliant and I know that it will be extraordinary to see them here in this royal Norman Castle.

Meanwhile if you have just become engaged do think of us for your wedding and/or reception as this is such a beautiful and romantic site.

So welcome back to Tutbury Castle for 2017 and I do look forward to seeing so many who return year after year as well as new visitors ready to discover our treasures.

Best wishes to you all,

Lesley Smith