The iconic landmark of Durham Castle is to host a medieval-themed day for families on Sunday. 

The castle – which, along with Durham Cathedral, is part of a UESCO World Heritage Site – will be putting on a range of activities entitled Durham Castle Goes Medieval. 

The castle’s 13th Century Great Hall will be transformed into a medieval banqueting area. Families are urged to bring along a picnic so they can enjoy a feast in a setting right out of the Middle Ages.  

The Great Hall will also host craft workshops and traditional storytellers, who will be spinning their tales of monsters and heroes. 

Mini-tours of the castle will lay bare its often gruesome history. A castle of the bouncy variety, meanwhile, will be stationed in The Fellows’ Garden, which was once the site of a moat. 

Other activities will include face-painting and a scavenger hunt. There will also be displays of genuine medieval objects, which visitors will be invited to handle.

Sunday’s event is being put on by the student-run organisation Castle Community Action, as well as by Durham Castle Tours. 

A spokesperson for Castle Community Action said, “Durham Castle Goes Medieval will provide a great opportunity for families to bring a picnic and explore Durham Castle on an enjoyable visit.” 

All Sunday’s events are free, but because places are limited those wishing to attend should book in advance. For more information, please go to 

Durham Castle was built in the 11th Century to help the Norman Kings enforce their power over the “wild and fickle north”.

For many years, the castle served as a palace for the Bishops of Durham. In 1840, Bishop Edward Maltby donated it to the newly established Durham University to provide student accommodation.

The castle still fulfils this function today and is home to over 100 students. It also contains a student common room and bar, offices, a library and an IT suite. Because Durham Castle is still a working building, visitors are normally only allowed in on specially arranged guided tours.

(Featured image courtesy of Carla Brain, from Flickr Creative Commons)

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