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“Nice attraction, but needs improving”

Mountfitchet Castle
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed April 2, 2013

This was my first visit. As the attraction is displayed on a brown sign on the highways, I was expecting something along the lines of an English Heritage attraction. This is a privately owned enterprise. The staff were very friendly and helpful. The entry fee was acceptable.

The overall reconstruction of the motte & bailey fort is good, and provides a good sense of life in such a fort in Norman times. There are plenty of hands-on reconstructions, such as helmets and chain mail to try on. There are plenty of diverse exhibits, including day-to-day life of the average peasant and of the upper classes. The reconstructions of a blacksmith's, candle maker, banqueting hall etc are good. The trebuchet reconstruction is excellent. I like the fact that there were so many animals walking around.
However, the intent of some of the exhibits is questionable. There is a particular emphasis on the gruesome aspects of unnatural death, with ghoulish mannequins present in the man-trap and hell-hole, and hanging from the gallows. I am not squeamish, but I didn't find these pleasant or informative, and others might find them objectionable. There is also an iron chastity belt on display, complete with spikes in the vulval area, which prompted some questioning from my young daughter. It appears that the attraction is trying to capitalise on garish sensationalism, rather than purely on educational value. In addition, most of the notice boards in the fort contain poor spelling and grammar. The dinosaur exhibit is the same - the name for the winged flying dinosaur is a Pterodactyl, not "Pteradactil". This is not being snobbish. I would expect an historic attraction such as this, which has such a wealth of educational value, to at least check its language before displaying it to the public.

The toy museum has an excellent collection, which contains historic artefacts from the World Wars as well as toys. Unfortunately, the toy museum is jumbled up, and the historic artefacts are intermingled with the toy displays, with no clear delineation between them. Its layout needs improving.

2  Thank Zarniwooop
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"haunted house"
in 38 reviews
"animals roaming"
in 16 reviews
"norman village"
in 24 reviews
"norman times"
in 8 reviews
"original site"
in 4 reviews
"star wars"
in 10 reviews
"roaming free"
in 4 reviews
"educational fun"
in 5 reviews
"loved the animals"
in 7 reviews
"medieval times"
in 5 reviews
"all ages"
in 24 reviews
"step back in time"
in 8 reviews
"young children"
in 16 reviews
"photo opportunities"
in 4 reviews
"pay and display car park"
in 4 reviews
"mobility problems"
in 5 reviews
"great attraction"
in 6 reviews
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371 - 375 of 400 reviews

Reviewed April 2, 2013

The Castle was the attraction for my 2 boys , so on went the outfits of the knights and the swords were in the car, we arrived and the excitement started , when you enter you are given or if not ask for the park stamp leaflet as this is what you filled with collect while walking around , the castle is fantastic and is built so well , the history is amazing and its all true , my boys were either scared or just excited ,

after visiting the castle and looking at all the huts and old attractions we walked up past the dinosaur park which was good but then you arriive at the top of the hill and then its Toy heaven the toy museum is amazing , toys and games from every decade

I certainly had some of them and also the war , army , navy, Raf display is brilliant

thanks for a great day

1  Thank mans1477
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2013

took the wife and kids to the castle and we had a wonderful day.entry costs were good and the animals loss in the castle was very good.although the smells of what it used to be like was very althentic and very real..they do also have open days were people can dress up in medievail clothing..

2  Thank alan_pearce10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 16, 2012

A most interesting place to visit; it's small enough to do in a couple of hours and lovely in the summer. The ruins are mostly gone but the reconstruction is excellent and one can well imagine what it was like to live in such a place. Be sure to check out the toy museum next door. Sadly, this is a seasonal attraction, and we missed out by one week this trip.

2  Thank julsmavis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 29, 2012

Me and my sister went to visit on the last bank holiday and had such a good day out at Mountfitchet. The toy museum is good fun. We particularly enjoyed playing the old penny slot machines as well as spotting our favourite characters from childhood.

The best bit in our opinion though was walking around the Norman village. Absolutely incredible to see history come to life and fascinating to see how the Normans would have lived. We loved it!

Great value for money - we took a picnic and ate in the designated picnic area which was lovely.

We were there for just over two hours, so it's not a full day out but definitely something I'd recommend to anyone.

1  Thank Vicky C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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