Battling to showcase a historical gem

editorial image
2
Have your say

Scarborough Castle is one of the most prominent buildings along the Yorkshire coast - but many local people say they have not visited it for a long time, if at all.

New interim manager Simon Roe is a man on a mission to change this, saying he wants to bring back Scarborians to one of the town’s historical gems.

He explained: “The site needs connecting back with Scarborough. There’s 16 acres up here of Scarborough’s land.

“People sometimes perceive that we’re just catering for outsiders and not locals, but we’re really keen to get local people involved.

“We would love to get more local products in the tea room and shop, plus more site specific items.”

Simon, who is originally from Derbyshire and has worked in the pub trade, is passionate about the site and making the most of its amazing potential for visitors - wherever they are from.

He said: “I’ve been here since March and I love everything about it. I’ve always wanted to be part of an organisation like English Heritage.

“I saw the job and thought it would suit me down to the ground.”

Along with the rest of the team, he is now busy preparing for the main summer event at the castle - Heroes on Horseback - which follows on from the success of Clash of the Knights, which took place at the end of May.

The event attracted around 2,000 visitors and featured battling knights, fully kitted out in period costume, plus children’s activities, music and an encampment to explore.

Heroes on Horseback, which runs every weekend from Saturday July 26 until the end of August, highlights Scarborough Castle’s links to Richard III.

Richard was made lord of Scarborough in 1478 and visited the castle in 1484, when naval operations against Scotland were being controlled from here. He is the last monarch to have visited the castle.

At this special event, Richard III and his Queen will visit Scarborough Castle to enjoy mounted hunting games, stunning falconry displays and a selection of regal pastimes.

Simon said: “We’re really looking forward to it - it’s a great way to showcase this site.”

He added that with the season getting under way, more and more visitors are coming through the gates.

“More people are coming every day,” says Simon, “which gives you a really good feeling. You know that’s what you’re here for.

“Visitors love the audio tours, which can also be put into kid’s mode which is easy to understand.

“We also get lots of people saying ‘wow, I didn’t know all this was here’ or ‘the views are stunning - next time we’ll bring a picnic’.

“We want the town to be proud of this place. It’s Scarborough’s Castle after all.”

For more information about the castle and summer events, go to www.english-heritage.org.uk and search for Scarborough Castle.

Entry is free for English Heritage members.