Blog Post Written By Fearn Britton
Castle Donington is particularly close to my heart, as I was born and raised here: I went to school here, got my first paid job here, and I can’t imagine growing up anywhere else in the world. It’s on the large side for a village, with a population of over 7,000 and growing, yet it retains its quaint village ambience where everyone seems to know each other and most of the small businesses are locally owned.
My absolute favourite thing about Castle Donington is its history. I have lived here all my life and there are still secrets hidden around the corners of the oldest parts of the town – endless nooks and crannies and alleys that have seen hundreds of generations.
This humble little town is at least as old as England as we know it today, appearing in the original Domesday Book of 1086. It has housed a castle built to command the crossing points of the River Trent, from which it derives its name and sadly no longer stands, an impressive Grade II listed church dating back to the 12th Century that many parishioners still visit, and a hunting park from the early 13th Century that we know today as Donington Park Circuit. With the more modern additions of East Midlands Airport and public transport services connecting the three major cities in the heart of the Midlands, Castle Donington is also as much a fundamental crossroads between the North and the South today as it was almost a millennium ago.
Despite being a relatively small settlement, Castle Donington is an endless hive of activity. As a vital crossroads for many forms of transportation, we have many people just passing through; but many more stay to visit the village itself.
Donington Park Circuit hosts motorsport events year-round. The Download Festival takes place here in the summer every year, attracting rock fans across the nation with global headline acts. The Wakes Fair has returned to Market Street every autumn since King Edward I granted the charter back in 1278. The May Day Medieval Market transforms the same street into a hub of good food, dancing and festivities every year for the May Day Bank Holiday.
So while Castle Donington is a vital crossroads for many, whether literally or figuratively, the village is also its own fascinating entity steeped in history with exciting events and endless reasons to visit year-round. For me, it’s home.