Friday, April 19, 2024
Home Tourist Attraction Cumbrian castle set to become tourist attraction

Cumbrian castle set to become tourist attraction

by Staff
Greystoke Castle

A Cumbrian castle is embarking on a new chapter in its 850-year history.

Greystoke Castle, privately owned by the Howard family trust, has hosted countless weddings and events over the years, but 2024 heralds an exciting future for the venue.

Work is underway to transform the Grade II*-listed building into a destination in its own right.

A cafe, wedding venue, bar, watersports in the castle’s lake, tours of the rooms and grounds, afternoon teas, Mediaeval re-enactments, Proms-style events, outdoor theatre performances – it’s hard to keep up with the myriad plans in place.

The man behind the vision is Tom Nash, a businessman who owns the Lake View Bar and Grill in Bowness and the George pub in Burton-in-Kendal.

With a background in hospitality, the 47-year-old saw the opportunities Greystoke Castle presented.

He began talks with the Howard family in 2022 and moved his family into a small tower at the castle when the lease was signed and work to renovate it began.

Greystoke Castle

“It’s not glamorous,” he said. “It’s cold and it’s small. But it was the right thing to do while we do work at the castle.”

Tom and his dedicated team are taking the redevelopment of the castle step-by-step.

He said: “We are taking it slowly – we want it to be open for afternoon teas and light lunches by the end of April and we’re holding evening events in the great hall already.

“We believe the space is really versatile – from weddings to corporate events plus so much more. But it is a process.”

Presently, workers are busy painting and two sewing machines sit in one room, used to produce ornate curtains and wall hangings to decorate and give the castle an authentic feel.

Tom added that he wanted the local community to feel Greystoke Castle belonged to them, as well as it as a venue appealing to the overseas market.

He said: “It will be available for private hire and people will be able to hire it out for exclusive use – to live like a lord is a popular experience for the American market and what better place to do that than Greystoke Castle?”

Events are already being arranged for Greystoke Castle.

Tomorrow, Saturday, March 23, an Italian night in the Great Hall will feature an Italian buffet and entertainment from David Marshall.

On Saturday, March 30, comedian Stan Boardman will headline a right royal variety show, supported by Paul McCoy and on Friday, April 12, Greystoke Castle is hosting a murder mystery night with Highly Suspect – the Death of a Great Detective.

All tickets are available from www.ents24.com

Greystoke Castle: A history

  • 1129: Ivo, grandson of Saxon chieftain Llyulph, creates first stone structure on the site
  • 1300s: William de Greystoke obtains royal licence to castellate Pele Tower.
  • Mid-1500s: Castle acquired by marriage by the Catholic Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk and Earl Marshall of England to the widow of Lord Dacre, of Naworth Castle near Brampton. Oliver Cromwell and his army visit the area and lay waste to the castle.
  • 1838-1848: Castle rebuilt and estates developed by Charles Howard.
  • 1868: Greystoke Castle catches fire. It is rebuilt and the Great Hall is furnished with a minstrels’ gallery and fireplace.
  • 1912: American author Edgar Rice Burroughs, writes Tarzan and uses Greystoke Castle as his character’s ancestral home.
  • World War Two: Castle and estate requisitioned by the army as a tank drivers’ training area.
  • 1950: Stafford Howard inherits the estate and begins restoration, which has continued.
  • 2022: Tom Nash begins talks to take on lease for Greystoke Castle.
  • 2024: Work is underway to open its doors as a visitor attraction for first time.

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