Stansted Mountfitchet Castle is a Norman motte and bailey Castle and village that has been reconstructed with meticulous detail on its original site in Essex. The castle is essentially an open air museum, fabulously constructed to really give you a sense that you have traveled back in time! Its worth mentioning that this is the ONLY medieval castle and Norman Village reconstructed on its original site in the whole world!
The caslte/village is very hilly so if you have impaired mobility then I would suggest giving them a call ahead of your visit for advice; it is also a little tricky to navigate with a pram so if you have a sling or your child can walk/be carried then that is definitely the best option.
The entry price is a very reasonable £10.50 for adults and £8.50 for children, with under 3’s being free. Included in the entry price you get the norman village/castle, the toy museum and the dinosaur experience so it really is exceptional value.
We started off with dinosaurs & the toy museum; I have to admit that although the life size dinosaurs were extremely well constructed and very impressive to us adults Miss H was petrified of them! I can see older children really loving them though, as you walk past them and up the hill to the toy museum you are treated to tape recordings of dinosaurs roaring to really enhance your experience.
After the dinosaurs we progressed on to the toy museum; the museum has over 80,000 exhibits on display and encompasses everything from toys to TV memorabilia, as a huge Only Fools and Horses fan I was delighted to be greeted with a full size Trotters Independent Traders Van at the entrance! Mr H is a huge Dr Who fan so he was equally delighted with the Darleks and Phone Box! There is also a haunted manor within the toy museum that you can enter for an extra £1 each (we had a toddler with us so this was a definite no for us!).
The castle/village was next and I have to say that the reconstruction is magnificent you really feel as though you are back in 1066; the smell of lit fires greets you as you enter the site and there are animals roaming freely; there are several houses with reconstructed scenes inside and a church with a working bell. There were several things that you could try on or do; hats, shields and stocks, its nice to see a museum with pieces that you can actually try on and fun with.
We had an excellent time at Stansted Mountfitchet Castle and will definitely return again soon.