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Hoghton Tower The King Returns

20th 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 1 (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,

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, Twitter, Facebook and local press and radio.
The public wings and gardens of Hoghton Tower are run as a charitable trust. The Trust is run by a Board of Trustees. The charity raises its income from: charging an admission fee to visitors, running events, providing holiday accommodation, renting out parts of the Tower as a venue for weddings, filming, corporate entertainment and private functions. Every penny that the charity earns is spent on running, maintaining and restoring this historic site.

HistoryNeedsYou is a multi-disciplinary history and heritage consultancy working with museums, heritage organisations, schools, colleges and universities. We'll enable you to make history and heritage accessible, fun, engaging and inclusive. Combining broadcasting on radio and television with writing, film making, consultancy, research, talks, performing/living history, events and workshops for adults and children, we bring history and heritage to life in a unique and powerful way. 

Hoghton Tower, a Grade I listed building, is the ancestral home of the de Hoghton family. Re-created in 1565 by Thomas Hoghton, this ancient, fortified, hilltop manor house is the only true baronial hall in Lancashire. With the creation of the Hoghton Tower Preservation Trust in 1978, the Tower today has become a destination for culture, education and entertainment. Walled gardens and imposing state rooms provide an impressive backdrop for family days out, a weekend stay, weddings and celebrations, corporate away days and cultural and educational events. The house is open for special events and private group tours throughout the year, and from May to October for guided tours Sunday to Thursday. All admission and venue hire charges support the work of the Hoghton Tower Preservation Trust – keeping heritage alive for future generations. Registered Charity Number 508357.
About the Heritage Lottery Fund
Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. @heritagelottery 

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