Sunday, 13 September 2009


N.B There will be more photos added to this post at a later date, once I've filtered out the bad ones!

I set off with my bro Paul and the Droylsden Photographic Society to watch Robin Hood's Pageant at Rockingham Castle in Northamptonshire.

After a 3hr coach journey we arrived in Rockingham and wondered where the castle was as we couldn't see it at all. I was amazed at this seeing as from its locale it's possible to see 5 counties on a clear day, so I presumed that'd mean the castle could also be seen from the road. But no! All the trees on the roadside had created a screen that was impenetrable to the naked eye.

We decamped from the coach to be met by a guide who told us a little about the history of the place: built almost 1000yrs ago and has been in the same family for 450yrs now, with a couple and their young children being the current occupiers. The castle itself was open to visitors (although lots of places were out of bounds seeing as there're family areas), the grounds were wholly open and there was the pageant going on in the grounds. After that we were left to our own devices and just had to be back on the coach at a certain time.

As the show wasn't about to start for a few hours Paul and I made our way through the grounds and gardens stopping to take lots of photos (I took almost 200 here and Paul took many more as he had a new memory card to fill up) before we entered the castle itself. Naturally, cameras weren't allowed to be used within the castle nor were mobile phones. The place was stunning. Dark wooden panelled rooms with huge fires, exquisite pieces of art and furniture. Simply gorgeous. This is the first castle I have been in that wasn't a ruin and I was blown away by how amazingly beautiful it is.

There was one area where cameras were allowed and that was an area called 'The Street' - a gorgeous view seen below -
Both Paul and I braved the narrow steep spiral staircase (which seemed to go on forever) to the top of Salvin's Tower where the views of the counties could be seen along with the Roman Rd leading away from the area. After scrambling back down the stairs (Paul dropping stuff down them and I had a fight on my hands with a rope hand-hold and a tripod) we set off for the pageant itself. Sadly, there weren't as many people watching as I expected. Maybe I was expecting similar crowds to that of when I recreated the Battle of Naseby with over 1000 other re-enactors and twice as many crowds watching in May 2008. Either way, the crowds got involved, the enactors were great and you could see that they were loving every minute of it, and so were the horses involved.

We didn't get to see Robin marry Marion as we had to be back on the coach for the second stop of the day - the Arts festival at Market Harborough. At this point I'd drained my camera battery so the photos I took here were all done on my phone (apologies if they're a bit rubbish).

There were many street artists performing including Ant Orkezdra, The Hole Job, Slinkie Love, Gordon the Cycling Panda, Sleepwalkers, Big Rory and Ochie, Inside Out and The Gorillas.

Market Harborough itself is a lovely market town with beautiful architecture and a stunning market hall situated right next to the gorgeous St Dionyus Church.
All in all it was a great day with many, many photos taken that I know have to trawl through to seek out the bad from the good and great. There will be more photos to be posted on this post and also on my other site avixpics, so please view them. It may take a while to get them up so expect them to be there after the weekend.


  1. Ha , love the panda on the bike. Looked a really good time actually although whats this about a coach? Is that a new word for bike?

  2. Gordon was very cute on the bike.
    You any idea how far Rockingham is?????? It took 3 hrs by a great big BUS so imagine how long it'd be on a bike!