Oakham Castle in Rutland, England

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Oakham Castle is located in Oakham in Rutland, England. It was inhabited before 1066 as a motte and bailey castle, but the Normans built the first stone castle on this site; it is considered one of the best examples of Normal architecture. In the 1200s, the castle (manor) was surrounded by a wall and gatehouse. Today, the Great Hall and earthworks containing bricks for part of the wall are all that remains of the castle. Other buildings to keep the castle running existed within the walls but were demolished at different stages.


The Great Hall dates from the late 1100s. It has survived so long because it functioned as a courtroom until recent times. Oakham Castle received funding in 2014 for restoration work and reopened at the end of May this year.


One of the different facts about this castle are the horseshoes. Aristocratic and royal visitors to the castle have a tradition to honour if visiting the castle. The tradition is to provide a horseshoe. The reason for this is that the castle was owned by the Ferrers (ferrier) family, and their symbol on their coat of arms is the horseshoe. The oldest one is Edward IV's, presented in 1470. Recent ones include the Prince of Wales (Prince Charles) and Duchess of Cornwall (Camilla).


Oakham Castle may not look like the traditional example of a castle, but it is. Many of the Great Halls would have looked similar, and some of the earth banks remain around it. Have you been here to see the horseshoes?

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