Today we headed east towards the coast of Lincolnshire but didn’t get that far. Our first stop was Tattershall Castle. The castle is a very rare example of a red-brick medieval castle. Although there was a castle on the site the impressive the 130 foot high Great Tower and moat still seen today was built between 1430 and 1450 by Ralph Cromwell, Lord Treasurer of England and one of the most powerful men in the country during the reign of Henry VI.
On our tour of the Grand Tower we explored six floors starting in the basement and finishing on the battlements with great views over Lincolnshire countryside. The walls in the basement of the castle were 15ft thick and the spiral stone staircase was built anti-clockwise to make it more difficult for invaders who would catch their swords on the wall as they came up. The higher we went the more private the rooms became. On the ground floor was the Parlour where local tenants would go to pay their rent. The first floor was where Lord Cromwell would entertain and dine guest. Above that was the Audience Chamber where only the finest guests would have been admitted but they had to queue up along a brick vaulted corridor. The top floor was Lord Cromwell’s bedroom but he and his wife had little privacy as courtiers and servants slept in the room. Our final floor was the roof gallery and battlements. Each of the floors had magnificent fire places which we learnt had once been removed and nearly ended up in America but were fortunately saved by Lord Cuzon and they were restored to castle.
From Tattershall Castle we then took Daisy for a long walk along the dykes near Tattershall village before we headed to the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Visitor Centre.
The visitor centre tells the story of the Battle of Britain planes and the history of the Royal Air Force Battle of Britain Memorial Flight which began in 1957. Today the RAF Battle of Britain Flight now operates six Spitfires, two Hurricanes, a Douglas Dakota and the world famous Avro Lancaster “City of Lincoln”, one of only two remaining airworthier Lancaster bombers in the world.
We decided to take the guided tour of hanger where the aircraft are kept and maintained. However our tour turned into something special. It just happened that the flight was being inspected and approved ready for their summer of displays across Britain. So instead of touring the hanger we had ring side seats to watch the flight display including their dispersal and return. So instead of a half hour tour we had two hours watching the planes. A real bonus.