“ The Holloway, Tamworth, Staffordshire B79 7LR. Tel: +44 (0)1827 709 626/ +44 (0)1827 709 626. Fax: +44 (0)1827 565 67. Norman motte and bailey castle set in the south-west corner of what was a Saxon burh, it's located to dominate the approach over the „
During the summer holidays my partner, our two daughters (aged 3 and 9) and I visited Staffordshire for a few days. The main purpose of our visit was to go to Drayton Manor, however we were looking for some fun interesting things to do in the staffordshire area for the next day. Whilst researching the area prior to our visit i came across a website for Tamworth Castle and it sounded like just the type of thing we were looking for.
Tamworth castle is right in the heart of Tamworth town centre. It is very easily accessed by train or road. The castle is only a two minute walk from Tamworth train station. However, we drove and found it well sign posted and easy to find. There is plenty of parking nearby and at £1 for a three hour stay we were very happy.
The castle itself is set in a brilliant location in a large park. There are plenty of things to keep you and the kids entertained there. There is a massive childrens play-area, which my daughters had a great time playing in. Swings, slides, climbing frames and a massive wooden pirate ship and castle to climb. The play-area amused the children for quiet sometime whilst we were waiting for the castle to open. Next to the play-area is a little cafe selling drinks, icecreams etc. There is also a large clean public toilets, which has baby changing facilities. Also nearby is a mini golf area and Ankerside shopping centre.
Of course the castle itself is the main attraction. On our arrival we were greeted by two staff members who were very friendly and informative. They explained to us that the castle was currently undergoing refurbishment and therefore some parts were closed. This included the toilets and we were advised to use the toilets near the play area or inside the shopping centre. Having two kids with us this was a bit of a pain.
The entrance prices were very reasonable and a lot cheaper than the prices advertised on their website. Admission for one adult was £5.50, for a child was £3.00 and a toddler (aged 2-4yr) was only 50p. We were also offered a guide book for £1.50 which was interesting and a great little souvenir. Both children were also given a sheet of paper to take around with them and tick of various things as and when they see them. On completing the sheet the children were rewarded with a lollypop at the end of the tour. This was great fun for my 9 year old, but my 3 year old was a bit young for it.
Unfortunately, due to the renovations the dungeon was closed, which was a pity, as it sounded very interesting. However, the rest of the tour more than made up for it. Some of the rooms included the Tudor dining room with its magnificent Table set for a truly Tudor feast, the Medieval Room with its armour and weapons, the Georgian room, the eerie Victorian Nursery and many different chambers and bedrooms. A long winding narrow staircase takes you up to the top of the Medieval tower With 360 views of the beautiful castle surroundings and plenty of historic landmarks. There is also plenty of information about Tamworth and its history. Tamworth castle is extremly beautiful and each of its rooms is more interesting than the last. It has plenty to keep both adults and children amused. I was particuly impressed with some of the different ways children were kept amused during the walk around the castle. Including small chairs and tables in some of the rooms with crayons and things to colour in, dressing up boxes with great outfits and wigs to try on, educational jigsaws, blocks to build mini castles, toy castles and figures to play with etc. Another thing that really impressed me about the castle was that much of it was very interactive and hands on. It was great being able to actually sit at a Tudor dining table and pick up and look at the things for sale at the "market".
It took approximately two hours for us to walk around the whole castle. By the exit there is a reasonably priced gift shop where we bought a Tamworth castle fridge magnet, 2 princess tiaras and a couple of sticks of rock, all of which came to under a tenner (althought there was a charge for using debit card, so i would advise to take cash). There was also a cafe, however i can't comment on it or its prices as instead we headed to the subway around the corner from the castle.
Tamworth castle is a great day out for both adults and children and is well priced. I would recommend it for anyone who enjoys castles and stately homes.
Further information can be found on the Tamworth castle website
My seven year old is learning about castles at school, so when we popped to Tamworth to do some shopping at the weekend we decided to take her to Tamworth Castle.
The castle dates back to at least 1070, when a wooden motte and bailey was erected on the site to keep the opposing army away from the important Norman leaders. The stone structure which survives today was built around the original wooden walls at various points in history, with the oldest surviving section of the castle being the North Wing which was built in the 13th century. The final major addition was making the castle look pretty much as it does nowadays, with this huge restoration taking place in the late 18th century.
From the outside, Tamworth Castle looks amazing. Its an absolutely huge building which is still brilliantly intact; set on the top of a lush green hill, the castle is surrounded by beautifully maintained gardens. Picture postcard pretty, which is weird considering the castle is set in Tamworth town centre and a few hundred yards from the grounds is a bustling shopping area.
The cold instantly hit us as we walked into the castle building; despite it being a lovely sunny day outside, the chill from the huge blocks of stone made us shiver. Its pretty inside, with the exhibits beginning more or less as soon as you enter.
Tamworth Castle incorporates a museum, which is spread throughout all the public areas. This is in the form of period furniture, portraits of the various owners of the castle, weapons and clothes from historical eras and loads of other interesting bits and pieces. Obviously, the earlier items are reproductions but the castle has tried to include as many authentic pieces as possible in its collection.
We visited all of the fifteen rooms which are open to the public, and all of them were fantastic. My particular favourite was the Haunted Bedroom which is traditionally decorated in keeping with a Norman castle, very ornate and beautiful. This room is so well laid out that I could almost imagine how life in this room would have been in the 12th or 13th century.
The Great Hall is also a magnificent room; of massive proportions, my seven year old literally gasped in awe at the length of the walls and height of the ceilings! This room is also the focus for a childrens quiz sheet which is available from the start of the castle tour, the object being to make visiting children really aware of their local history by setting riddles and games to stoke their imaginations.
Throughout Tamworth Castle are dotted something called talking heads. These are historically accurate models of people living in the castle at certain points in history and not only do they look the part, but these sci-fi type figures will actually speak to you and tell stories of the times in which they lived. These are a fantastic addition to the exhibits, especially for children as these interesting and unusual displays will stick in little heads much longer than a dusty old table will!
The Tamworth Story is definitely worth a visit. This is a permanent interactive display where the kids can try on period clothes, you can plot your way around Tamworth of old on a cool electronic map and browse old books and manuscripts which were the entertainment in those days before TV! My children had great fun dressing up in authentically smelly old clothes, while I took a moment to admire the beautiful Tamworth view from the windows.
Tamworth Castle is a very serene place. As with most castles, theres an air of mystery and suspense inside the walls. The gardens are beautiful, the rooms are enchanting and on top of that theres a wonderfully educational feel to the place. This castle regularly opens its doors to school parties, so if youre local(ish) to the Tamworth area then your kids have probably visited the castle even if you havent!
Theres a lovely snack café and gift shop inside the Tamworth Castle grounds. The café serves hot and cold drinks, along with low maintenance snacks such as crisps and flapjacks. This sounds basic but it really is ideal as in the summer the gardens are just crying out to be used as picnic areas, and I cant think of a better place to eat my packed lunch. The gift shop is very reasonably priced, with gifts ranging from rubbers costing 20p to notebooks costing £1 to paintings of Tamworth which sell upwards of twenty quid. As a reference, I bought a handful of Tamworth Castle postcards, rubbers, pencils and rulers for the kids and this cost me just under a fiver. Bargain.
The castle is accessible to wheelchair users, although youll be restricted to the ground floor exhibition and courtyard. When I visited I had my eight month old nephew in his pram and my partner and I had to take turns standing downstairs with Josh while the other looked around the upper floors, which was a bit disappointing. This lack of access is reflected in the admission price, however, which leads me to believe that Tamworth Castle would be more accommodating if it possibly could.
Those visitors who are wheelchair bound and cannot get to the upper floors pay only £1.80 to get in, while standard adult admission is £4.95 and children pay £2.95. These are absolute bargain prices as where else can you get a little piece of history, not to mention dressing up fun and a relaxed picnic, for under £15 for a family of four. Not many places, I tell you. Tamworth Castle is open all year round apart from the obvious Christmas Day and New Years Day closing, it also closes on certain bank holidays so its worth calling if your planning your visit to coincide with one of these dates.
To find Tamworth Castle, get on either the M1 or M6 northbound and follow on to the M42. The castle is located a very short distance and well signposted from Junction 10. Coming in on the M6 southbound, you need Junction 12 and then drive to Tamworth along the A5. Theres plenty of free parking at Tamworth Castle, in a large well maintained car park. Also, theres a drop off point directly outside the castle for people with disabilities.
Tel 01827 709629
Tamworth castle dates back to the twelfth century and boasts one of the finest examples of herringbone wall visible in the UK today. A traditional Norman style motte and bailey castle, the ancient structure now overlooks landscaped gardens and visitor amenities in the castle grounds. The castle is open all year round for visitors and contains many examples of historic costumes and plenty of information about Tamworth and the surrounding area throughout the ages. One of the most common talking points about the castle is the supposedly haunted bedroom which is said to be visited by the ghost of St Editha after whom the large old church in the town centre was named. For those with an ongoing interest in the castle there is a society named The Friends of Tamworth Castle who for a modest membership fee enjoy a regular newsletter and free access to the castle during opening times. Tamworth is very much a historically rich town and affords visitors an enjoyable day out, not simply around the castle alone. There is plenty of parking in the vicinity as the castle grounds also house tourist attractions such as a bowling alley and an indoor ski centre. The grounds offer something of interest to those not interested in the castle itself, so the area can make an excellent family day out. Those with an interest in finding out more about the castle itself can visit a highly informative website at http://www.tamworthcastle.freeserve.co.uk/