22 February, 2012

A tower filled with history in Lancashire

Recently, I was looking for somewhere different to go for a day out, and an internet search revealed that there was a farmer's market on at Hoghton Tower. I had never heard of it; but with a market to see; and a tower to explore, it sounded like it could be a fun day out. It turned out to be one of the best days out I've had in a long time, as what I experienced was totally unexpected.

Hoghton is near Preston (Lancashire) and as you turn off the main roads and approach the tower, the impressive driveway really sets the scene. The tower is the ancestral home of the de Hoghton family, who have lived here since the Norman Conquest. The history of this place is quite incredible; and the guide who showed us around was not only extremely knowledgable, but also made the history come alive.

By visiting you are following in the footsteps of the likes of William Shakespeare; Charles Dickens; and King James I who, at a banquet held in his honour, famously knighted a loin of beef - hence the name 'Sir Loin'! During the visit, you get the chance to see the Banqueting hall; underground passages; dungeons, and dolls' house collection. In the summer, you can also take a stroll in the gardens, which were closed when I visited.

Sadly I'm unable to include any photos of the inside of the tower due to insurance purposes, but that should provide you with yet another excuse to make the trip to see this 16th century gem yourself. If you're a believer in ghosts, you may also want to know that this is reputedly the third most haunted house in Britain - keep your eyes peeled!

The tower is open from July - September, and on certain Bank Holidays (if you'd like more information on opening times, or Hoghton Tower in general  go to the official website.). Weddings can be held at the tower, and I have to say it would be an extremely dramatic and historic place to tie the knot. However if you simply want a day out filled with a bit of history, then I can't recommend this place highly enough.

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