This property is free for HHA Friends
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Rockingham Castle

This property is free for HHA Friends
Nr Market Harborough, Northamptonshire, LE16 8TH
01536 770240

Built by William the Conqueror on an even earlier site, often used by the monarch of the day until 1544 when Henry VIII leased it to the Watson family. Sir Lewis Watson bought the castle from James I in 1619. The castle sits high on its bluff, protected by the massive 13th century drum towers and later curtain walls, but most of the buildings are now domestic, and the mainly Tudor house shows a succession of periods, including the 13th century Hall and 17th century Long Gallery. Particularly fine collection of English paintings, 18th-20th centuries. Charles Dickens, a great friend, described Rockingham in 'Bleak House' , and dedicated 'David Copperfield' to Richard and Lavinia Watson.

This property offers free access to HHA Friends and Members during normal opening hours - please check opening times.


2m N of Corby, 9m E of Market Harborough.

Visitor Opening Times

2017: Open from Easter Sunday to the end of May; Suns & BH Mons. Jun - Sep; Tues, Suns & BH Mons. pen 12– 5pm. Grounds & Tearooms open at noon. Castle open at 1pm. Last entry 4.30pm.

NB Friends free access does not apply to main Castle event days. See for details.

Please note that these opening times are correct to the best of the HHA’s knowledge, as advised by the property. Opening times may change and a property may very occasionally need to close at short notice. We therefore recommend you check with the property before your visit, by phone or on the property’s website, especially if your journey is likely to be a long one.

Family Friendly Facilities

Special castle quiz and Eye Spy booklet for younger visitors

Groups and special visits

Set on a hill overlooking five counties, Rockingham Castle was built by William the Conqueror. The Castle was a royal residence for 450 years. In the 16th century Henry VIII granted it to Edward Watson and for 450 years it has remained a family home. The pre-dominantly Tudor building, within Norman walls, has architecture, furniture and works of art from practically every century including, unusually, a remarkable collection of 20th century pictures. Twelve acres of formal and wild garden command splendid views over the surrounding countryside. Charles Dickens was a regular visitor to the Castle and based Chesney Wolds in Bleak House on Rockingham. A comprehensive group pack is available with details of the guided tours available.

Tailor Made Facilities

Visits to HouseYes
Visits to GardenYes
Other EventsYes
Light RefreshmentsYes

Contact Details

Andrew Norman
Rockingham Castle
Market Harborough
LE16 8TH
01536 770240

Visit for more information

Additional Information
Open for visits
Nearby HHA Properties
Deene Park (5  miles)
Boughton House (6  miles)
Drayton House (9  miles)
Southwick Hall (9  miles)
Apethorpe Palace (9  miles)