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Grimsthorpe Castle near Bourne opens new 279-space car park and entrance with brown tourism signs put up to help visitors

A tourism attraction near Bourne has opened a new entrance and car park as it prepares to start work on an art gallery.

Grimsthorpe Castle reopened on Thursday, May 27, with a new entrance, 279-space car park and ticket hut. The new entrance is still accessible from the A151 but is further south and closer to the village. New brown tourism signs have been erected to point people in the right direction.

Previously visitors went along a long driveway towards the castle itself.

The new entrance to Grimsthorpe Castle
The new entrance to Grimsthorpe Castle

Staff from the castle said they had already received many wonderful and positive comments.

Marketing and events lead Lucie VonCarthy said: "It’s been amazing to see visitors back in the grounds after 19 months of being closed. The whole experience of parking and paying for your ticket is much more streamlined and user friendly."

The work was carried out during 2020 when the estate was closed and marks for the first step in an ambitious development plan which will include the construction of a contemporary art gallery and other improved visitor attractions.

The new car park at Grimsthorpe Castle
The new car park at Grimsthorpe Castle

Designed by Architects RTK Stamford, the car park has been constructed by Rutland Building Services over the last seven months. With the natural environment and site ecology at the heart of the design process, natural materials have been employed to ensure the car park sits comfortably alongside the Grade I listed park.

The existing topography of the site remains largely unaltered - a sustainable drainage system has been designed to utilise this natural topography. Solar powered lights further enhance this environmentally sound design.

In construction terms, 60,000 tonnes of earth has been moved, of which 30,000 tonnes have been reemployed in the construction. The remaining sub and topsoil has been used to create a bund which has provided an excellent area for the planting of a windbreak.

The new ticket hut at Grimsthorpe Castle
The new ticket hut at Grimsthorpe Castle

Carefully positioned trees and perimeter planting has further enhanced the setting, with the planting of 3,000 shrubs including viburnum, hawthorn, blackthorn and hazel, and a further 5,000 ground cover plant. 145 deciduous trees including oak, lime, field maple, alder and black walnut have also been planted.

Graeme King, director of RTK Stamford, said: "It has been a pleasure to be involved in the project from inception through to successful completion, largely on time and to budget. Whilst only a car park, it does beautifully frame the visitor experience as they arrive at the site, and sets a high benchmark for all that is to follow."

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