American Viscountess: Rockingham Castle
Description from American Viscountess:
In this episode of American Viscountess, Julie Montagu, Viscountess Hinchingbrooke, visits Rockingham Castle in Northamptonshire. A royal fortress for 500 years, following the Norman Conquest of 1066, Rockingham was visited by successive Kings and Queens of England.
Rockingham Castle is now the beautiful home of James Saunders Watson and his family. We tour the interior tracing the history of the building and revealing some surprise family connections. We see the Great Hall, Library, Panel Room, and Long Gallery, all of which have evolved to the needs and tastes of each generation who have lived here. From the imposing Norman gateway, to the destruction of the English Civil Wars to the Victorian reimagining of a charming building at the end of an ancient cobbled street - there are fascinating stories to be told in every corner of this Northamptonshire castle.
Julie meets up with caretaker Pete, to help with his daily tasks which include opening up the castle and checking all is ship shape for a new day. Then it’s to the tower to raise the flag, before Julie tries her hand at embroidery. As part of the festivities to commemorate the 950th anniversary of Rockingham, an exquisite embroidery has been stitched in the style of the world-famous medieval Bayeux Tapestry.
Julie is given a lesson in planting the perfect English rose on the site of the original Norman castle keep; and explores the parish church, just outside the castle walls, which was rebuilt following the English Civil Wars. She finds past Montagu family connections in the church and is overwhelmed by a very special document related to the historic Montagu family home, Hinchingbrooke.
During her visit Julie heard how one of the giants of British literature - Charles Dickens - stayed at the castle in the mid-nineteenth century, visiting his friends, Richard and Lavinia Watson. He dedicated his novel, David Copperfield to them and even performed plays of his works in the Long Galley and Panel Room.
American Viscountess is co-produced by Julie Montagu Productions and Aonia Art & Culture and made in association with Historic Houses https://historichouses.org – the UK’s largest collection of independently owned historic houses and gardens.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS & CREDITS