Record visitor numbers for Oakham Castle
Oakham Castle is celebrating after welcoming a record number of visitors through its doors after a £2.2 million restoration project.
The castle, which is almost 800 years old and dates back to the Norman Conquest, has seen the number of visitors double from around 29,000 per year pre restoration to 55,000 in 2017 and 60,600 in 2018 which was a record.
Coun Lucy Stephenson (Con), Rutland County Council cabinet member for culture and leisure, said: “This is fantastic news and shows just how popular Oakham Castle has become, not just for the people who live in Rutland, but also visitors from across the country and even further afield.
“It’s wonderful to see that the Heritage Lottery Fund grant we secured has given the castle a new lease of life and we should all feel incredibly proud to have such an important piece of history here in Rutland.”
Visitor numbers have been boosted thanks to the food and drink festival as well as the Rutland Poppy Project.
The restoration of Oakham Castle took place between 2015 and 2016 after a bid from Rutland County Council to the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Further work last year uncovered new archaeological features that were previously unknown suggesting there was a defensive tower in the south- eastern corner as well as stronger fortifications than first thought.
Another community archaeological is planned for this year with further details to be published in the coming months.