Saturday 10 August - Wednesday 14 August
Updated 30 July. Following government guidance, the castle and gardens at Hillsborough Castle are now open Thursday-Sunday. Please read our visit information.
This summer visit Hillsborough Castle and Gardens, County Down and travel back in time to the world of the Gorgeous Georgians and Vile Victorians, with a live stage production from the world-renowned Horrible Histories.
Set within the Castle’s stunning gardens, this outrageously entertaining outdoor show presented by The Birmingham Stage Company, promises to uncover centuries of grisly history and is the perfect tonic for families with a thirst for all things awful and amusing.
It’s 1714 and Queen Anne, the last of the Stuarts has just died – now who’s going to succeed her? Why the gorgeous Georgians of course - join in the Hanover Handover from King George I, all the way to the II, III and IV! Help cure mad King George III and meet other well-known characters from the period, including the Duke Wellington who wants to give someone the boot!
Once you’ve had your fill of the Georgians, fast forward to the Victorian era as sewage fills the streets of Soho London. Put your wits to the test as you try to solve a deadly outbreak of cholera with Dr John Snow and discover what happened when Florence Nightingale, the Lady of the Lamp, faced the gruesome hospital conditions of the Crimean War – where it’s fifty men to every toilet!
This show is ideal for families with children aged between 7 and 14 years but can be enjoyed by all ages. Running twice a day, performances last for one hour and visitors are encouraged to bring a blanket and soak up the festival atmosphere with a dedicated food pop-up serving a range of goodies, from mouth-watering hot dogs to scrumptious salads sourced from Hillsborough Castle’s very own Georgian Walled Garden.
Once you’ve had your Horrible Histories fix, make a day of it with a series of activities for all the family to enjoy. Explore the majestic gardens set in 100 acres of ornamental grounds, peaceful woodland, meandering waterways and picturesque glens. Families can also discover the Castle’s intriguing history brought to life on guided tours led by the Castle’s team of expert explainers.
Horrible Histories is included in gardens admission tickets and family tickets are available. Free for Historic Royal Palaces members. To book tickets and for more information on Hillsborough Castle and Gardens, visit hrp.org.uk/hillsborough-castle
Hillsborough Castle and Gardens has been completely transformed by independent charity Historic Royal Palaces after five years and a £24 million investment – supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and other generous donors. Greeting visitors upon arrival is a new visitor centre complete with café and shop. Meanwhile new access and learning facilities will host schools and community programmes reaching out to the widest possible audience.
Notes to editors
Historic Royal Palaces has invested £24m into an ambitious programme of capital projects and associated activities that will open the site to the widest possible audience; conserve and re-present the heritage; explore its stories and engage communities and learners. The Hillsborough Castle project has received a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and significant support from Mark Pigott KBE, Garfield Weston Foundation, The Clore Duffield Foundation, The Foyle Foundation, The Wolfson Foundation and other generous benefactors.
Historic Royal Palaces is the independent charity that looks after the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, the Banqueting House, Kensington Palace, Kew Palace and Hillsborough Castle and Gardens. We help everyone explore the story of how monarchs and people have shaped society, in some of the greatest palaces ever built. We raise all our own funds and depend on the support of our visitors, members, donors, sponsors and volunteers. With the exception of Hillsborough Castle and Gardens, these palaces are owned by The Queen on behalf of the nation, and we manage them for the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Historic Royal Palaces cares for Hillsborough Castle under a separate contract with the Northern Ireland Office. Registered charity number 1068852. For more information visit www.hrp.org.uk