This weekend we went to see Mountfitchet Castle and the Norman Village of 1066 located in Stansted, Essex. Though I’m not quite sure why it is called a castle considering that the ‘castle’ is a piece of leftover rock.. but hey.. let’s not get hung up on details here! If you enjoy history, like me 🙂 , you’ll really like this place. The village was reconstructed to reflect the period in which it existed, and they did an an amazing job doing so!
All the buildings contain old tools, mannequins, and reconstructed furniture. These buildings basically allow you to see how people used to live, dress, and work back in the Middle Ages. This includes the many ways people were punished, humiliated, and simply left to die.
They have rescued animals walking freely within the village that you can feed by purchasing animal feed. I attempted, and successfully managed to feed a goat just to have it rip the entire bag of animal feed out of my hand and eat it… including the bag. You will be able to see, pet, and feed goats, deers, chickens, turkeys, and some other odd looking creatures (not pictured) from the animal kingdom!
We got to see and feel the weapons they used. You are able to try on helmets, and pick up swords, though the swords have been dulled and you can only pull them out about halfway. The swords are quite heavy, and so is the protective gear soldiers used to wear! I’m currently picturing the men in the movie 300… wrong time period, I know, I know!
How the Baron lived!
It is believed that the castle was built following an attack by the Normans (Norman conquest of England) in the 11th century, and was eventually destroyed by King John in 1215. The stones were taken by surrounding villagers and used to build their homes, while the remains of the castle were eventually overgrown until it’s complete reconstruction in 1985 when it was opened to the public.
Overall, it was an amazing experience and you should definitely visit if you haven’t been there before. It’s not only incredibly educational, but also adds some fun for the kids by locating stamps throughout the area, and then receiving a price at the end if you find all the stamps. That part my daughter loved best 🙂 !
Also, there is a toy museum located on the other side of the castle and village, as well as a haunted manor, and dinosaur area that your children will enjoy. It’s defintely worth a visit, one that the whole family can enjoy!
** ** ** ** **
Prices: Adults pay 10.50 pounds per person. Seniors pay 10 pounds per person, and children pay 8.50 pounds each; a child is considered between 3-13 years of age. The animals feed is 50 pence, and a visit to the haunted manor located inside the toy museum is an additional 1 pound per person! Also, there is limited disabled access, and no dogs are allowed. If you want additional information, check out their website here!