A few weeks ago (OK...over a month ago) over the Easter weekend we took a drive out to Bolingbroke Catle, Dean was sure the kids would be bored as ''it is nothing but a few ruins and nothing to see or do'' (his actual words)...the fact is the power of a child's imagination combined with an exciting new place to visit and plenty of open space made sure that Bolingbroke has become one of the monsters favourite places EVER!
Bolingbroke Castle can be found in the village of Old Bolingbroke, 3 miles west of Spilsby, Lincolnshire. The castle ruins are free to enter and are open 'any reasonable time during daylight hours'. Access is via a side gate down a sleepy tree lined lane (with only a few parking spaces, maybe 5 or 6 at most!).
We arrived (and managed to steal the last parking spot!) and quickly put Wellies and coats on 3 very excited monsters, Evie and Jenson excited because erm hello..its a CASTLE and Elsie excited because she was free...no pushchair for the tiniest monster!
To say they were excited they all sat nicely, even if it was briefly, for a quick 'chhheesse' snap and we were ready to explore...
About the castle...
Bolingbroke Castle was build in the 13th century, built by Ranulf de Blundeville, Earl of Chester and Lincoln. It was the home of and birthplace of King Richard IV and his parents, until around 1399. In the 14th and 15th century it was the administrative centre for the estates of the Duchy of Lancaster and by the 17th century, sadly, only a couple of the towers were still in use. By the time of the Civil War in 1642 the castle became a defense base for a Royalist garrison and was in 1643 besieged by Parliamentarian forces, the Royalists surrendered that winter, and the entire castle was destroyed.
Now the gatehouse and moat are nothing more than ruined walls and mounts but back in its early days it was was one of the first castle enclosure built without a keep, with the moat starting at the castle walls and coming out around 30 metres...
More recently the Lincolnhire Heritage have undertaken the Moat project and today you can walk around the walls of the castle by the side of the moat which has plenty of hidey holes for little monsters to 'hide' from the Kings Guards! (I did tell you that the castle brought out their imagination!) And slices of wall to walk along and ledges for monsters to become King of the castle and yep you guessed it..Mummy and Daddy become the dirty rascals!
'I'm the King of the castle'
Hiding from the Kings guards!! Hmmm...let me tell you, the noise they made...they would have been caught almost instantly!
The sun decided to make its appearance as we were about to leave!
'Inside' of the ruins, in what would have been a courtyard, there was plenty to keep little monster's busy, 'secret' rooms to nestle in and mounts to run up and down.
'I'm coming Mummy....'
'Actually...I want to go back up to Daddy...'
walls to climb and walk around...
'Hey what about me!'
And then it was time to go home, but not before the monsters found a Water Wheel in a garden close by to the car park!
Here's a little video of our visit too...