VISITORS to Bolsover Castle will be able to travel back in time following the launch of the historic attraction’s brand new exhibition and discovery centre.
The new facility is part of an amibitious £400,000 English Heritage revamp aimed at attracting more visitors to the iconic 12th century landmark.
The exhibition tells the story of Bolsover Castle’s splendid history and, particularly, the life and times of its most famous resident William Cavendish, the first Duke of Newcastle.
The Duke was a master horseman and is responsible for building the stunning Riding House, which dates back to the 1630’s and is one of the finest surviving buildings of its type in the country.
It is hoped the exhibition area, which includes a variety of interactive displays, will help develop a new passion for history amongst the younger generation.
Lynsey Coombs, visitor operations manager for English Heritage, said: “The new exhibition centre makes us an even more family-friendly attraction and has already proved to be popular with the kids.
“It is really exciting seeing the kids enjoying history. It is important to catch them when they are young.
“When I was young my mum and dad brought me to places like Bolsover Castle and that is why I developed my passion for history.
“Bolsover Castle is a fantastic place to visit and something for everyone in the area to be proud of.
“We are really keen to point out that Bolsover Castle is a place for everyone, not just tourists but also people who live in the town and surrounding areas.”
Claire Henry, English Heritage Interpretation Manager, said: “We have drawn on Bolsover Castle’s amazing history to create a new and engaging hands-on exhibition in the old stables that will be full of suprises.”
The revamp also includes essential repairs to the roof of the Little Castle and an overhaul of the gift shop and cafe facilities, which will feature local produce on the menu.
“The cafe is every bit as much for locals as for tourists, we want people around the area to come and use the cafe and support the local community.
“We will be using local produce, which is an important part of what English Heritage are about.
“We want to support the local community during these tight ecomonic times and provide something for everyone to be proud of.
Bolsover Castle will be hosting a series of exciting events throughout the summer months, with The Grand Medieval Joust taking place on 29th and 30th May one of the highlights of the entertainment calender.
The castle attracts around 62,000 tourists a year and is a must-visit venue for education groups across the Bolsover district.