Home Coronavirus: Community response Celebrating Knowsley’s Lost Castle

Celebrating Knowsley’s Lost Castle

by Lisa Bennett

Hundreds of people came together to celebrate the amazing Lost Castles project which took place at Knowsley Safari during the summer.

Lost Castles was the first ever event to take place across all six of the Liverpool City Region areas and was named Community Event of the Year 2018 at the recent Liverpool Echo Awards.

Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram, spoke at the celebration evening acknowledging the success of the project and recognising the wonderful community spirit it created across the city region.

Knowsley volunteers at the celebration event.

Knowsley volunteers at the celebration event.

Lost Castles brought together thousands of volunteers to work with thousands of cardboard boxes to build monumental castle-inspired structures in each area of the Liverpool City Region. The concept was the brainchild of French artist Olivier Grossetȇte and was the first ever creative project to take place across the entire Liverpool City Region.

Knowsley’s inspiration

The inspiration for Knowsley’s design came from Elsinore Castle from one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays, Hamlet.

It was another wonderful opportunity to celebrate Knowsley’s fascinating links with Shakespeare and the new Shakespeare North Playhouse coming to Prescot. The support and patronage of the Earls of Derby at Knowsley Hall played a notable part in the development of English drama so it is fitting that the castle was constructed at Knowsley Safari, which is part of the Knowsley Estate.

Over four days in August, hundreds of volunteers worked alongside the artistic team to create the individual parts of the castle. These parts were then transported to Knowsley Safari where the volunteers helped to construct the impressive Elsinore Castle structure.

More than 4,000 people visited the castle at Knowsley Safari and enjoyed entertainment from giant Elizabethan puppets, smoke breathing dragons, performances from local choirs and musicians and taking part in cardboard inspired craft workshops.

The castle was toppled with the help of Olivier, his team and the volunteers who helped to construct it. Everyone joined in with the demolition and recycling of the cardboard, with some of the materials donated to lions and monkeys in the safari to enjoy.

Volunteer, Colette Thompson said:

“After seeing a flyer, I thought I would get involved in the Lost Castles project. It was a brilliant decision! I took my three children to three different workshops and they were all superb. When we came to build the castle, it was an amazing experience. It was our castle that we built as a community. It felt great to be doing something different that I wouldn’t normally do and me and the children feel so proud and privileged to have been a part of the Lost Castles project.”

Colette helped to build Knowsley's Lost Castle on her birthday!

Colette helped to build Knowsley’s Lost Castle on her birthday!

Councillor Graham Morgan, Leader of Knowsley Council said:

“Knowsley was delighted to be part of this cultural first project which encompassed all of the Liverpool City Region. It was wonderful to see people from all across Knowsley come together to create the magnificent structure, there was a great sense of community spirit throughout the four days and I am sure that everyone has taken away some wonderful memories that will stay with them for years to come.”

Knowsley’s Lost Castle

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Find out more

Find out more by visiting www.lostcastles.co.uk

The project was made possible thanks to a grant from Arts Council England, supported from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and Global Streets.