Award winning Rockingham Castles’ drawbridge is lowered for the 2007 season on Easter Sunday. Over the last four years the Castle has been nominated for and won four major awards for excellence, the most recent being the Silver Award for Best National Small Visitor Attraction. The consequence of which there has been a significant increase in profile and in turn visitor numbers have been on the rise. The popularity of the only Castle in Northamptonshire which has for 450 years been inhabited by the same family, is undiminished.
The open season gets off to a great start with “The Great Rockingham Dinosaur Hunt” on Easter Sunday and Monday (8th & 9th April), this combined with an egg hunt and a family quiz makes for a great day out.
With the events in the castle grounds proving to be so popular, this year sees the introduction of a Falconry and Owl day (1st July). These beautiful birds will be flying over the beautiful Welland Valley below the Castle as they have done so for 100’s of years.
The Castle gardens have undergone transformation over the winter months. The new garden has been created around the Rose Garden on the site of the medieval mote & keep. A series of new radial yew hedges provide opportunities for vistas, walkways and seating within a series of garden ‘rooms’ that will contain deep borders of stunning herbaceous and shrub planting, each room being given a different character. The ‘rooms’ are being planted in two phases with advice from Lincolnshire plantsman Tim Rassell.
The Park events which began just two years ago, go from strength to strength. The year starts with the Call to Arms History Fair (5th – 7th May) over the Bank Holiday weekend featuring re-enactors from every period of history from Romans through to the early 20th century. There are two Antiques weekends (18th – 20th May & 20th – 22nd July), a Steam & Country Show (11th – 12th August) as well as a Food & Craft Fair (29th – 30th September).
The year is rounded off with our Christmas week (19th – 23rd November) which has caught the imagination of our visitors. The Castle, beautifully decorated for Christmas, with the guides in period costume telling the story of the preparations which took place on Christmas Eve 1895 sets the scene for the beginning of the Christmas season. Operations Manager, Andrew Norman said, “We have had such astonishing success in recent years, generated in particular with the variety of events that we have been putting on both at the Castle and in the Park. In addition we have strived to ensure that our visitors are made to feel welcome and their experience of Rockingham has exceeded their expectations. As long as we continue to do this we will attract visitors not just once but, we hope, again and again”.
Further information about visiting the Castle and the events taking place please visit the website at www.rockinghamcastle.com