New College Worcester (NCW), Whittington Road, Worcester, WR5 2JX
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News > Go Create – Hartlebury

Surrounded by austere clerics from the past, their pigmented eyes staring down, thirteen eager poets tap, tap, tap thoughtfully on their keyboards. Inspired by the historic surroundings, a group of thirteen students from the college visited Hartlebury Castle to work with Worcestershire’s Poet Laurette, Maggie Doyle.

We were based in the main hall of the castle which has its origins in 854ad and was given to the Bishops of Worcester by King Burgred of West Mercia. Many of their pictures adorn the walls. Seeking inspiration we walked round the crenelated walls, visited the (slightly boggy) lower garden and completed a touch tour of the attached museum. Luckily none of the students got themselves flattened in the mangles.

Each student was tasked with creating a piece of writing inspired by the surroundings. Some imagined they were the building itself and personified it by exploring what events it has seen such as the time of the Civil War when the Castle was used as a garrison for 120 of the King’s soldiers, who were housed in the Great Hall (the same hall we were sitting in). Others imagined the visit of Elizabeth I which bankrupted the then bishop.

All in all the students had a great day and produced some interesting work. We are planning a follow up visit with Maggie where they will work on reshaping their pieces with the ultimate aim of recording them and their work becoming incorporated into an auditory display. Exciting stuff!

David Hinds

Head of English

Group outside Hartlebury Castle