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Grimsthorpe Castle, Bourne

#1 of 12 in Things to do in Bourne
Grimsthorpe Castle is a country house in Lincolnshire, England 4mi north-west of Bourne on the A151. It lies within a 3,000 acre (12 km²) park of rolling pastures, lakes, and woodland landscaped by Capability Brown. While Grimsthorpe is not a castle in the strict sense of the word, its character is massive and martial – the towers and outlying pavilions recalling the bastions of a great fortress in classical dress. Grimsthorpe has been the home of the de Eresby family since 1516. The present owner is Jane Heathcote-Drummond-Willoughby, 28th Baroness Willoughby de Eresby, granddaughter of Nancy Astor, who died at Grimsthorpe in 1964.OriginsThe building was originally a small castle on the crest of a ridge on the road inland from the Lincolnshire fen edge towards the Great North Road. It is said to have been begun by Gilbert de Gant, Earl of Lincoln in the early 13th century. However, he was the first and last in this creation of the Earldom of Lincoln and he died in 1156. Gilbert's heyday was the peak time of castle building in England, during the Anarchy. It is quite possible that the castle was built around 1140. However, the tower at the south-east corner of the present building is usually said to have been part of the original castle and it is known as King John's Tower. The naming of King John's tower seems to have led to a misattribution of the castle's origin to his time.
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Grimsthorpe Castle Reviews
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215 reviews
  • Grimsthorpe is a great family destination for a day out. Bike riding, a great adventure play area, walking, touring the house and gardens or lunch/cakes in the cafe. There's plenty to do for all and w...  more »
  • Enjoyed a wonderful production of the Wind in the Willows last night. My 7 and 9 year olds had a ball, riotous laughing. Really lovely backdrop in the walled Gardens with the castle in the background....  more »
  • Grimsthorpe castle is set amongst beautiful land perfect for waking, picnicking, and even cycling. Bicycle hire is available but didn't do this on our trip. The gardens are lovely thriving with flower...  more »
  • Interesting castle but the real draw is the grounds. Some lovely gardens to walk around plus wood walks plus 3 different bike trails which are all in the grounds and so no cars to bother you. They even have bike hire if you can't get yours there. Loads of space if you want to picnic and play games etc. Highly recommend!
  • Fascinating history, enthusiastic, knowledgeable room guides. Nice cake! Lovely gardens and woodland. Good adventure playground for kids. Keep hold of the useful folded guide they give you, its a big place, you can lose your bearings without the map.
  • With its Capability Brown gardens, well.maintained play area and stunning house, this venue has a lot to offer. A great place for family walks, the kids have plenty to space to stretch there legs, or even get on a bike. Ample parking and service's.
  • So much to do, so much space to explore. Great for walks, great for bikes, great for kids. Added bonus of adventure playground.
  • Nice place. Friendly staff. Cafe served food only until 1430.

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