Explore the World War One history of Sunderland’s Hylton Castle

The view from one of the upper rooms in Hylton Castle.
The view from one of the upper rooms in Hylton Castle.
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STEP back in time to the First World War during a hands-on history day at Hylton Castle.

The 14th century castle, which is rarely open to the public, will throw open its doors tomorrow, from 11am to 4pm, to remember the site’s role as a First World War army training camp in 1914.

Coun John Kelly, Sunderland City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Public Health, Wellness and Culture, said: “I encourage everyone to go along and make the most of this great chance to see not only the castle, but the part it played in more recent history.

“It’s not too well known that during the First World War the castle and grounds were used as a training camp.

“Both the 3rd (Reserve) and 4th (Extra Reserve) Battalions of the Sherwood Foresters were based here for training, and as part of what was then the Tyne Garrison.”

The event includes displays and activities on military training, weapons and drill, old exercises, field kitchens and a field hospitals.

Chairman of the Friends of Hylton Castle and Dene, Keith Younghusband, said: “This is a free, fun, family event, giving people the chance to experience life in a wartime camp – complete with army drills and authentic army food.”

Work is under way to redevelop historic Hylton Castle after a successful first-round bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). The vision is to transform the 14th century castle from an empty shell into a living, working building, that benefits the local community and visitors.

Admission is free and parking is available at Castle View Enterprise Academy.