On one of August’s sunnier days we headed out to Tattershall Castle, a National Trust property in Lincolnshire. The Castle (really the Great Tower which is the only surviving structure of the original castle), was built around 1433 by Ralph Cromwell when he was made Lord Treasurer to Henry VI.
You approach the Castle by going over a bridge that crosses the moat. At first I didn’t realise that the moat contained water because of the heavy weeds,
but as the photo below, taken from the battlements, demonstrates, the moat is in fact filled with water and wildlife. (We spotted ducks and dragonflies, though I wasn’t able to capture any in a photo).
The Great Tower itself is made from local bricks – over a million of them – and is 6 storey’s high (around 33.5 metres tall according to the guide book). It was designed as a grand apartment for Cromwell to entertain important guests. The rooms now however are very simple, containing very few items of furniture, if at all.
The rooms do contain some of my decorative favourites though – stained glass windows such as those below, representing monarchs and assorted inhabitants of the castle. They were commissioned around 1918, so not an original feature of the castle.
The large fireplaces in some of the rooms are also a focal point that are decorated with detailed panels, some of which depict the Treasurer’s Purse (Cromwell was Lord Treasurer), and Cromwell’s coat of arms.
The one room that could be considered the most furnished is the Audience Chamber. That room stands out because of the impressive tapestries that line the walls. They are both seventeenth-century Flemish tapestries and sixteenth-century Brussels tapestries and were purchased by Lord Curzon (who gifted Tattershall to the National Trust) in 1913, so are not part of the original decor of this room, although contemporary to it.
The next highlight is the roof and battlements. It always feels like a particular treat when you’re allowed access to the roof of a property, and Tattershall certainly doesn’t disappoint in those regards.
The view from the top, both of the ground directly below and of the surrounding countryside (including nearby RAF Coningsby, where the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight is based), are fantastic, particularly on a clear day.
The roof also allows for a perfect view of the nearby Collegiate Church of the Holy Trinity, which Cromwell made a provision in his will to have built, and which will feature in my next blog post.
Tattershall Castle is an impressive building and the view from the roof is probably worth the admission price alone. To see more photos, visit my flickr here.