Visitors will be able to step back in time on 11 and 12 and 18 to 23 December, from 11am – 4pm, and experience a glimpse into a traditional 1930s Christmas at Castle Drogo.
This is a unique opportunity to see the Castle festively decorated and soak up the very special atmosphere of the period. Visitors can also enjoy some of the Drewe Family traditions, including the giant 14ft Christmas tree that impressively fills the Entrance Hall.
Rosemary Gilchrist is Julius Drewe’s granddaughter and was born in the early 1920s. She remembers various Christmas traditions at Castle Drogo,
‘Being a child at Christmas time at Castle Drogo was magical. On Christmas Eve, in the Library, there would be dust sheets from the big fire place to the Hall Christmas tree. And for Father Christmas, on a little table, there would be placed a mug, a plate of bread and butter and maybe a slice of cake. In the morning when the children came down there would be big, sooty foot prints on the dust sheets leading from the fire place all the way up to the Hall Christmas tree, which was piled high with presents. When we looked there would be a big bite out of the bread and butter and the mug would be empty. This tradition happened every Christmas.’
The large open fire will be lit in the Library, providing a warm welcome and there will be seasonal music each day, provided by pianists and local choir groups, to add to the festive atmosphere. On Saturday 11 December there will be entertainment from Moor Harmony, on Saturday 18 we will have Lustleigh Choir and Mummers and on Thursday 23 the Chagford Singers will be singing carols in the Drawing Room, all guaranteed to get everyone in the Christmas spirit.
The Drawing Room is set out for a family Christmas complete with presents that have just been unwrapped, while in the Dining Room, the table is set for Christmas dinner, with a miniature Christmas tree and home made crackers. Visitors can also see the Drewe family’s decorations, which have been used every Christmas since the 1930s.
Displays in the Kitchen demonstrate the fantastic dishes the servants would have created for the family. There will be handy information around the castle to learn the origins of our Christmas traditions.
There is a magical treat in store for children too as they can visit our wonderful Grotto and find Father Christmas waiting to hear their Christmas wishes. They will also be able to choose a special present from our Winter Wonderland (Entrance to Grotto and present is £2 per child, incl NT Members). A fun Christmas quiz will keep younger visitors amused while they wait and they can even write a letter to Father Christmas and post it in the Drogo Post Box.
Admission to the event is free for NT Members and winter admission charges apply for non members
The gardens, shop and tea-rooms will also be open from 11am to 4.30pm on the same dates so you can explore the winter landscape, buy a wide range of Christmas gifts, including books, local produce and crafts, or tuck into the tasty festive food. You can also purchase special Christmas treats from our Drogo Christmas Pantry, all home made especially by our chef.
Please telephone (01647) 433306 for more details of the event.