400th anniversary of the visit of King James I

20 March 2017

Hoghton Tower is a Grade I listed building in Lancashire; originally a medieval castle, it was reconstructed as a palatial Tudor home by Thomas Hoghton in 1565. This ancient, fortified, hilltop manor house occupies a commanding position, 650ft above sea level, with magnificent views of Lancashire, the Lake District and North Wales. The Tower lies mid-way between Preston and Blackburn.

Over the centuries many royal guests have been welcomed and entertained here including James I, William III, George V & Queen Mary, and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Other distinguished visitors include William Shakespeare, JMW Turner and Charles Dickens.

2017 marks the 400th anniversary of the visit of King James I (King James VI of Scotland) to Hoghton Tower. And, as you’d expect, thanks to National Lottery players and the support we’d had from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the LEAP project, we’re celebrating the anniversary in style with a year of events, the highlight of which is The King Returns on the 8th and 9th July.

The King really will return in our lavish and spectacular event held over two days, with plenty to enjoy for all ages: cheer the King as he arrives on horseback; see the grand dinner where the King knights a sirloin of beef; petition the King as he holds court; speak to the servants as they work and see what life was like for ordinary people; hear, see and smell the sights and sounds of 1617 and be a part of the drama. This year is also the anniversary of King James sending an ambassador to the Mughal Emperor, who ruled what is now Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. Britain started expanding overseas, with territory in the West Indies. Food, fashion and culture were influenced by these contacts and you can smell the spices and feel the silks which were newly arrived in Britain.

Crafts and fun activities for youngsters, access for all, meaningful history for all cultures, and our friendly, expert guides for those who want to learn more mean that everyone can enjoy this unique event, created for Hoghton Tower by historical consultancy HistoryNeedsYou with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

If this is your first visit, there’s no better time to see Hoghton Tower in all its glory.

Your Tower needs you! You can be a part of the team that brings The King Returns to life by joining our friendly volunteer team. There are all sorts of ways you can be involved, using your skills, enthusiasm and experience and having fun at the same time. We are running a series of open days where you can find out what volunteering involves and meet our team: we look forward to welcoming you! Please contact Diane Hoyle for more information: 01254 852986, [email protected].

Watch out for The Jakes Factor: we’ll be holding open auditions during April for someone (male or female) to play one of the stars of our event, stinky toilet cleaner Jakes, the butt of everyone’s joke (and possibly related to Baldrick!). Details are coming shortly on the Hoghton Tower website hoghtontower.co.uk

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