£1m castle project nears completion

Martin Allfrey, head curator at English Heritage.
Martin Allfrey, head curator at English Heritage.

A massive £1.3million project which aims to revive the 17th century Bolsover Castle is nearing completion.

The ongoing project, undertaken by English Heritage, is expected to be completed by spring.

Visitors will be allowed to walk on top of the walls for the first time in 400 years and experience the restored fountain garden and little castle.

The revamp will include a new multi-media guide that will take people around the castle, as well as a new exhibition.

The will also be a new ‘please DO touch’ policy which will break tradition and allow people to sit on the furniture and really experience the 1630s.

Martin Allfrey, head curator at English Heritage, said that the project is one of the most important that they are undertaking.

He added: “This castle is one of the most important in the country, I don’t think people realise what is here until they get inside.

“We are trying to get more people and families to come to the castle and the town itself.

“We want to get away from the ‘do not touch’ approach and really bring the rooms in the castle back to life.”

Meticulous research has been undertaken by English Heritage to explore the buildings in an attempt to give visitors a taste of the 17th century.

The fountain garden is set to be replanted with tulips, hyacinths and fritilarias and both the internal and the external castle has been restored, with the high-level wall walk being reinstated and balconies on the outside of the castle being reopned, after being closed for more than 150 years.

Phil Turton, head of the construction project, is from Bolsover himself. He said that doing the stonework on the wall walk had been a big job.

English Heritage is looking to recruit volunteers to help with the garden work and do tours inside the little castle.