Rockingham Castle was, for its first 450 years, a royal castle. Its great hall was built by William the Conqueror. The castle was visited by Richard the Lionhearted and his brother John. Charles Dickens was a Victorian visitor.
Go Back: [Top of Page] [Articles
The castle was converted it into a Tudor house when it came into the ownership of the Watson family as a gift from Henry VIII. The family have continued as owners in an unbroken line. Cromwell took control of the castle during the civil war causing it to be besieged by the Royalists. The family never recovered their fortunes after the war.
On the self guided tour visitors see the “below stairs” area, the great hall, panel room, and long gallery. The long gallery displays furniture and portraits.
12 acres of formal and informal gardens and lawns include a wild garden and 200 species of shrubs and trees. A 400 year old hedge sets off the terraced 17th century garden. A modern rose garden was designed by Robert Myers, a winner of the Chelsea Flower Show gold medal. A wild garden covers the Welland valley and contains collections of trees and plants. It includes a handkerchief tree and dogwoods.
From the castle there are far reaching views over the countryside. Down the hillside is Rockingham church.
Rockingham, Market Harborough, Leicestershire
Tel. 0 1536 770 240
Open: April-May, Sun and BH Mon; June-end Aug, Sun, Tue, and BH Mon, grounds from noon-5pm; castle, 1-5pm
Tea-room serving luncheon; gift shop with unique items; wedding venue; parking
Historic Houses Association member
Web: Rockingham Castle
All photos © by Barbara Ballard