Ancient festive traditions featured in family trails at Castle

Ancient Christmas traditions are being celebrated at Whittington Castle over the next three weekends.

Whittington Castle
Whittington Castle

Organisers at the community run castle near Oswestry are creating trails for all the family starting with the Yule Log on Saturday and Sunday (5 and 6), the Lord of Misrule - a medieval festive appointment - on December 12 and 13, and the Twelve Days of Christmas on December 19 and 20.

Entry is £2.50 and each trail is open from noon until 3pm. There are prizes for those who complete a trail.

Castle manager, Sue Ellis said there were lots of interesting traditions that were followed in the county.

" St Thomas’s Day, December 21st, Shropshire Farmers used to fill sacks with wheat for the poor which eventually became the Lady Bountifuls that the rich would give out to the poor especially at Christmas," she said.

Tradition said that no horses should plough or no spinning be done on the 12 days of Christmas and that the holly and mistletoe could only be hung once a mammoth house cleaning was done.

Visitors are also being urged to help decorate the castle's Christmas trees.

"We have lots of baubles, reindeer, stars and snowmen just waiting for you to add your designs. The closing date and time for entries is noon December 13. Father Christmas will be making a special visit to announce his favourites at 3.00pm. Pick up your blank decorations at the gift shop with a donation of 50p to the Castle for each entry. The shop will be open Wednesday to Sunday 10-4pm to get your blank decoration."

As well as the reopening of the gift shop and bookshop there will be a pop-up shop with crafters' gifts available every weekend and on Fridays 11 and 18 until 6.30pm.

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