My parents and family in general, in typical country-dweller fashion, are members and lovers of the National Trust. When I turned 18 my parents asked me if I wanted to get my own membership. I immediately thought what a waste of money, I was never into that kind of stuff… but then they had me at free car parking.
To be honest, it was never that I wouldn’t enjoy a membership. Its just that I thought I didn’t have the time, or know anyone else who would be interested in coming. Without a membership however I could miss out on family days out, and opportunities to learn about some potentially very cultural and historical stuff, which is always a priority for a Cultural Studies student.
Today, on Easter Sunday, the family headed to Lincolnshire, to a National Trust site – Tattershall Castle.
Expectations were low. Tattershall had been built up to have ‘not much going on’, and ‘just a lot of stairs to climb up’.
My experience however countered these ridiculous claims. Tattershall Castle was right up my street. It was true, there was a lot of stairs, and not too much else, but the sights really were worth the trip. There was also a lot more to the history of the Castle than simply a lot of stairs. Through reading I found out some very interesting things about the fireplaces and the infamous Lord Curzon, who restored the castle and after Oliver Cromwell started a process of destruction and left it uncared for.
The Castle was built in the 15th Century by Ralph Cromwell. The red bricks that make up Tattershall Castle are an unusual material for the time because there was an abundance of stone around, and red brick had not quite come into fashion in England. Clearly Ralph had an eye for design, he was ahead of the times in his use of materials, and what he built up using those bricks is pretty easy on the eye.
Because of it being Easter Sunday, there was more than usual going on. Of course there was an Easter egg hunt for children, but there was also people dressed in medieval clothes doing demonstrations. Most of which conversed and explained what was going on so everyone understood, but there was one man on a spinning wheel that looked so into his task of turning wool into yarn I was starting to believe he had forgotten he lived in 2016.
The fireplaces were the treasures of the castle, but they were torn out of their homes in the red brick castle walls and sold to The Americans. Lord Curzon was determined to return the fireplaces to their original positions in the castle so he had them transported all the way back from London in horse drawn carriages. This is one of the medieval fireplaces back in its home today.
The highlight of the castle was of course the experience of being at the top. The wind was so bracing it was almost like being in a wind tunnel, but this did not detract from how beautiful the perfectly flat landscape of Lincolnshire looked from that high up, especially when the sun poked through the clouds to light up the castle and grounds.
I’ve never been in a castle with a real moat before, it reminded me of primary school history lessons. I can understand why Ralph Cromwell chose that spot as a lookout. You can see for up to 20 miles across the land on a clear day. We could see Lincoln Cathedral from one side (with the help of the poster guide).
I found it humorous that one side of the castle had the perfect view of a lake… designated for jet skiing. They were at it in full force today as well I kid you not. I thought it was funny that the owners of the castle in the time of its use would never have known that many years later people would be looking out of the very same windows to see people going crazy on jet skis around a lake. I wonder if they ever consider jet skiing in the moat. Now that would be a contradiction of time periods.
I will leave any wandering eyes with these wonderful views and my mums words while standing on the top of Tattershall Castle; ‘It’s like the Arch de Triomph of Lincoln’.