Oakham is a country town, which lies to the west of Rutland Water, one of the largest man-made lakes in Europe. The major tourist attractions in Oakham include All Saints’ Church and Oakham Castle. Another popular and historic feature is the open-air market held in the town’s market square every Wednesday and Saturday. It’s located near the ancient octagonal Buttercross with its pyramidal roof and wooden stocks. Be sure to stop by there while in the area, and take some time out to enjoy your favourite e-liquids from Medusa Juice.
Other things of note is that only the great hall of the Norman castle is still standing, surrounded by steep earthworks marking the inner bailey. It is believed to be the earliest hall of any English castle which has survived so completely and it is doubly interesting because it belonged not to a castle strictly speaking, but rather to a fortified manor house. The building itself is attractively ornamented with Romanesque architectural details, including six beautiful carvings of musicians..
The hall is still occasionally used as a coroner’s court or Crown Court. It is also licensed for weddings. The outer bailey of the castle, still surrounded by low earthworks, lies to the north of the castle. This now is known as Cutts Close. Today it has a park with a bandstand, skateboard area, flowerbeds and children’s play area. Some deep hollows in the park are the remnants of the castle’s dried-up stew (fish) ponds.
A bit of fun trivial for you, in July of 1944, Castle class corvette named HMS Oakham Castle was launched.
A Game Of Horseshoes
One of the more interesting traditions from Oakham is that members of royalty and peers of the realm who visited or passed through the town had to pay a forfeit in the form of a horseshoe any time they passed through.
This unique custom has been enforced for over 500 years, but these days it only happens on special occasions, and is paid with an outsize ceremonial horseshoe, specially made and decorated for specifically for the occasion. This then is hung in the great hall of the castle. There are now over 200 of these commemorative shoes on its walls. They are not all are dated and some of the earliest may not have survived. In any case, these would have more than likely just been plain horseshoes.
The earliest datable horseshoe is an outsized example which commemorates a visit by King Edward IV in about 1470. The horseshoes are hung with the ends pointing down. And while this is generally thought to be unlucky, in Rutland this was thought to stop the Devil from sitting in the hollow.
The horseshoe motif appears in the county council’s arms and on the local Ruddles beer labels. Recent horseshoes commemorate visits by Princess Anne, Prince Charles, and Princess Alexandra. While you’re out and about, you can always take a drive into one of the Medusa Juice outlets and check out the latest and greatest deals going on at any of the four stores in King’s Lynn, Norwich or Peterborough.
Oakham has a fantastic museum that you’ll want to explore while there. It’s called the Rutland County museum it is located in the old Riding School of the Rutland Fencible Cavalry. which Built in 1794–95, the museum houses a collection of objects which showcase the local, rural and agricultural life, social history and archaeology key to this area.
Oakham is home to Oakham School, one of the major English public schools. This, with Uppingham School, was founded in 1584. The original school building still survives, and above its door is a stone with an inscription in Latin, Greek and Hebrew. I won’t swear it, but I think the inscription reads, “Schools Out.” Or maybe not, I had to try!
Oakham School is also the current owner Oakham’s former workhouse. The Workhouse was built in 1836 by Oakham Poor Law Union. The place held 167 inmates right up until it became Catmose Vale Hospital. Today it accommodates two school houses for girls.
Come Join Me
If you’re all set for great Medusa Juice e-liquids and gear and fancy a bit of shopping in town, I highly recommend the XY Bottle and Cocktail bar. You can have anything your little heart desires there and the atmosphere is relaxing and pleasant. I nearly spent the entire evening there, I was having so much fun on our last visit. The staff is fun and friendly and whether you’re looking for a good chat or a quiet drink, it can be had there. The prices are reasonable too.
The Skaters Club is a riot as well. There you can find all sorts of entertainment that will keep the entire family occupied and happy without breaking the bank. Be sure to go mad and rediscover your childhood while you’re there. You only live once, you know! Come on over, I’ll be the one sitting in the middle of all those delicious smelling Medusa Juice vape clouds.