Hoghton Tower hosts ‘Return of the King’ weekend

Hoghton Tower celebrate the 400th anniversary of King James I’s visit......Geoff Goodspeed and Diane

Hoghton Tower celebrate the 400th anniversary of King James I’s visit......Geoff Goodspeed and Diane Hoyle help set the scene - Credit: Pics; John Cocks

Four hundred years after knighting Sir Loin, the ‘king’ is back at Hoghton Tower to renact this famous moment

Hoghton Tower celebrate the 400th anniversary of King James I’s visit......Geoff Goodspeed and Diane

Hoghton Tower celebrate the 400th anniversary of King James I’s visit......Geoff Goodspeed and Diane Hoyle help set the scene - Credit: Pics; John Cocks

An iconic moment in Lancashire history will be celebrated at Hoghton Tower this weekend in an event expected to attract large numbers of visitors.

Back in 1617 James I spent three nights at Hoghton Tower where he had been invited by Sir Richard de Hoghton, an ancestor of the current family residing at the building just outside Preston. The king was said to be in such high spirits that he used his sword to knight a great joint of beef dubbing it ‘Sir Loin.’ The legend was born.

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Part of a £96,300 Heritage Lottery Fund grant to the trust running the tower will help to stage events on July 8 and 9 but it will also be used to support work with schools in the area. Walton-le-Dale High, which supported the application for lottery funding, is playing a dramatic part in the celebrations which also mark William Shakespeare’s connections.

A specialist company called ‘ HistoryNeedsYou’ has been brought in to ensure the entertainments, displays and re-enactments over the weekend are as authentic and involving as possible. The tower’s magnificent band of volunteers will also be playing a major role in the celebrations.

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As well as drama from Walton-le-Dale High, there will be music from a group called Merrie Noyse. The centrepiece of the day will be the king’s dinner at a table laid with pewter, recreating the great dinner held there in 1617.

Displays and talks will add educational weight to the proceedings and representatives of families present when James I stayed at the Tower have been invited to participate in the celebrations, though many such lines have died out.

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The two day celebration starts at 10am and ends at 4pm. Admission to the event is free but parking is £10 to cover the event’s higher than usual infrastructure costs like event security, portable loos etc.

For more information go to www. www.hoghtontower.co.uk