13 February 2017‘Slide’ through history at Framlingham Castle this february half term
- 6 metre slide opens from Framlingham Castle's wall walk and 7-year-old Jack Love from Worlingworth wins competition to be first visitor to have a go.
Visitors to Framlingham Castle can now choose to take a more unusual approach to getting down from the castle's wall walk, thanks to a 6.6 metre slide which has been installed at the site.
The temporary slide was opened on the first day of February half term by former castle resident, Queen Mary I herself, and 7-year-old English Heritage member Jack Love, who won a competition to be the first visitor to have a go on it. The slide descends from the wall walk down into the castle's inner court and is part of the conservation and visitor improvement project which is currently underway at the historic property.
Conserving the castle walls
Conservation works are now in their final phase, a project which has taken place over several years, and specialist contractors are making essential repairs to parts of the curtain wall, wall walk and bridges using heritage skills such as lime slaking, mixing of mortars, repointing, stone carving and carpentry. The installation of the slide aims to engage visitors with the conservation works and highlight the important work that we undertake to keep historic sites such as Framlingham Castle open to the public.
The slide was designed by Studio Hardie and will be in place until May, once the conservation works are completed.
Kirstie Horne, Property Manager at Framlingham Castle, said:
"We're delighted to have opened the slide here at Framlingham Castle just in time for February half term; it will no doubt prove to be very popular with our visitors, both young and old! As well as the chance to have a go on it and slide down through history, we will also have some great half term activities taking place that the whole family can enjoy during the school holidays.
"Meanwhile the visitor improvement project is now well underway and we are on-track for it to be completed in the summer. It's a very exciting time for the castle and we hope the addition of the slide will encourage people to visit us to find out more about the project."
In addition to the conservation works, the first part of a two-phase visitor improvement project is also underway at Framlingham Castle. We are making improvements to the Poorhouse at the site, adding in a new 40-seat café and re-introducing an original mezzanine floor to house a new exhibition. A proposed second phase would see an accessible terrace area added to the wall walk, making the route atop the curtain wall 360 degrees and enabling disabled visitors and families with buggies to access the new balcony area.
Half term fun
Running daily at Framlingham throughout half term, from Monday 13 - Friday 19 February (11am - 3pm) is Knights and Princesses, an event which sees young visitors transform into a noble knight or princess as they head back in time and enjoy some medieval activities. Including weapon handling, sword fighting skills, squire training and the chance to meet a medieval princess, this event is one which will keep the whole family entertained.
It was at Framlingham Castle that Mary Tudor was proclaimed Queen of England. The heritage site dates back to the 12th century and survives now as a rare example of an intact curtain wall with wall walk. Surrounded by parkland and estates, Framlingham was once at the centre of a vast network of power and influence.
Find out more about Framlingham Castle, the visitor improvement project and the Knights and Princesses February half term event, by visiting the Framlingham Castle property page.
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