Tattershall castle has been a place for making family memories for many years since the kids were tiny and we always had a tradition of having a sword fight in the grounds, plenty of birthdays have been celebrated here too, birthday cake an all. We love the winding staircase leading up to each of the floors and up high onto the 130ft (40 metre) high battlements to see for miles across the beautiful Lincolnshire countryside and the sights from above show more of the history, looking over the vast landscape you can clearly see the lay of the land, from the double moat surrounding the castle, the lovely St Mary’s church close by and the Cromwell estate.
Tattershall castle was rebuilt between 1430 and 1450 by Ralph Cromwell, lord treasurer to King Henry Vl from its origins of a fortified manor house or castle built on the site by Robert de Tattershall dating back to 1231 and is one of England’s finest and earliest examples of brick built castles.
On a typical visit we’d almost always visit St Mary’s church on our way over to the castle for a cup of coffee and a slice of home baked cake, there’s usually a secondhand book stall and a little bric-a-brac for sale and I often come away with a book or two! I find this is a perfect start to a visit, although refreshments are available at the moat house entrance to the castle. Tattershall castle is taken care of by the National Trust and the shop is located inside the moat house too, an audio guide is available and a great way to enjoy a visit to get the full history guide on your journey around and through the castle.
Tattershall castle has the most stunning gothic fireplaces which I’ve always been in awe of on every visit, I must stop and admire them and of course the most ornate tapestry’s. The chambers are immense, and you can easily imagine the amount of heat required to heat them. These gorgeous gothic fireplaces were just the ticket, so large you could stand inside one.
Unfortunately, the castle came into disrepair and went up for sale in 1910 and the beautiful fireplaces sold to an American who had them ripped out and packed up for transport to back to America. Luckily Lord Curzon of Keddleston hall stepped in just in time to buy the castle and was so determined to get the original fireplaces back he set out a national search for them, he eventually found them in London, as they were about to be shipped out to America.
Lord Curzon had Tattershall castle restorations made between 1910 and 1911 and pushed for heritage protection law in Britain, this was acted on and became the Ancient Monuments Consolidation and Amendment Act in 1913. On Lord Curzon’s death in 1925 the castle was left to the National Trust. This for me is the icing on the cake, such a wonderful outcome, I’m so glad Lord Curzon came to Tattershall’s rescue or we may have lost this treasure forever, but it is now one of three of the most important examples of brick built British castles.
I’ll never grow tired of visiting Tattershall castle with my family, and every time our memories grow deeper. Sometimes after a visit to the castle, and especially on a birthday, we’d continue driving through Lincolnshire and finish with a seaside trip to Chapel St Leonards too. Castles evoke so much imagination and each has so much history and magic of its own. I can’t wait to return to Tattershall Castle to build more amazing memories, have another slice of cake and a coffee, plus perhaps another book to bring home too.