The Story of Oakham Castle

The Great Hall of Oakham Castle is the finest surviving example of Norman domestic architecture in Europe. It was built between 1180 and 1190. The surviving structure is the impressive Great Hall of the Castle, where banquets and courts would have been held.

Rutland County Council bid for a Heritage Lottery Fund Grant and in 2014 Oakham Castle was awarded £2.1 Million by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Following extensive refurbishment works, the Castle re-opened to the public on 30th May 2016, and is now open 6 days a week with improved facilities offering an interactive and comprehensive guide to its 800 year history.

There is a varied programme of events for adults and children alike, as well as daily activities for children. There is plenty for schools to do, too, from informal visits to full day sessions.

We also are a stunning wedding venue and can seat up to 120 guests.

Oakham Castle, Days out in Oakham Rutland, Things to do, Kid Friendly Activities and Wheelchair accessible

The Great Hall is famed for its for its unique collection of over 230 ornate ceremonial horseshoes donated by Peers of the Realm (Royalty and nobility such as Dukes, Marquis’, Earls, Viscounts, Barons and Bishops). The exact origin of this custom is lost to the mists of time, but it continues to this day. Our oldest surviving horseshoe was given to the Castle by Edward IV in 1470. Every one of the horseshoes has a story for you to discover.

The Hall is also decorated with a range of 12th century sculptures both inside and out. Above the six amazingly well preserved columns are six musicians, each one playing a different instrument. They are made of local stone from Clipsham and although damaged, are of superb quality. Evidence suggests that they were carved by masons who had worked at Canterbury Cathedral. 


Oakham Castle also has a gift shop with a host of souvenirs and gifts to suit any taste and pocket. From Local produce such as our Chocolate horseshoes and unique gifts featuring local landmarks and scenes to beautiful historically inspired jewelry and . There are books a-plenty from children's History books to the detailed guide for grown-ups, toys, games and of course our children's guide with puzzles and quizzes galore. And for our very young visitors we even have our limited edition Plush Bunnies.. 


Oakham Castle has a long and Illustrious history which takes you to the heart of some of the most important events in Britains history. For a timeline of the Castle you can Click Here

You can find details about our recent community archaeological dig here at Oakham Castle by clicking on the link below.