April’s third Letter from the Curator (2018)

Dear Friends,

We are all celebrating a tremendously important anniversary here at Tutbury Castle as 2018 marks the 950th. anniversary since the castle was built under the Normans. There had been a rebellion in the area in 1068 and it is thought the Normans built the castle in response to that rebellion. There is however evidence of human occupation on the site reaching back 10,000 years! As a Norman castle it has welcomed some of the greatest names in English history. It has been a mighty fortress, pleasure palace, royal residence and also a place where servants lived and the wholeness of English life found within the walls as a microcosm. There have been dark days too as the castle has seen death and destruction in the form of sieges and the agony of the English civil war which resulted in the castle being pulled down (slighted) by act of parliament after the defeat of the Royalists. It must have been the most terrifying sight to see the glorious walls fall and the half-timbered and stone housed town within reduced to smoking rubble.

The beauty of the spot remains and some dramatic ruins where ghosts of what the castle looked like can be still be seen in the rooms that only have sky as a roof. The Great Hall is complete along with some beautiful furniture and we think some of the friendliest and well informed guides you could hope to find in any historic property. The boxed gardens in season are lovely too.

We are very keen to keep the memory of what has been and the reality of what remains clearly in the minds of visitors. In celebration of
our 950th anniversary we are welcoming the largest living history group the castle has ever seen through its doors. 300 to 500 Normans will be here from all walks of life including knights in armour, ladies, crafts and domestic life. You will even find a group of monks
scribing a beautifully decorated Bible with handmade colour pigments and gold leaf. It will be as if the clocks have truly turned back as we share the glory of the birth of Tutbury Castle and life within her walls.

As well as the great Norman camp there will be a fairground for little ones, birds of prey and lots of hot and cold food on offer. Do come and join us as such a huge event here at Tutbury Castle may not happen again within a lifetime.

For further information on this event please call 01283 812129 or Click Here to email us.