Step back in time to Christmases past with a visit to this historic castle - including musical performances and a snowman trail. 

The National Trust has announced that it will be hosting a traditional Christmas at Castle Drogo in Drewsteignton throughout December. 

The volunteers at Castle Drogo have been busy unpacking the Christmas decorations and turning the castle into a traditional festive scene ready for Christmas opening tomorrow (Friday 1 December).  

Castle Drogo was the last castle to be built in England, started in 1911 and completed in 1930, by Julius Drewe, who chose the site believing that it once belonged to his medieval ancestor Drogo de Teigne. 

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Visitors admiring a Christmas tree in the Dining Room at Castle Drogo, Devon. (National Trust Images / Trevor Ray Hart)

After Julius’ death in 1931, his wife Frances continued to live in the castle, and during World War II, Frances and her daughter Mary ran the castle as a home for babies made homeless during London bombings. 

The castle was given to the National Trust in 1974, and was the first building constructed in the twentieth century that the Trust acquired. 

This December, local musicians from nine different musical groups are volunteering their time at the castle to get people in the Christmas spirit, with performances on most days throughout the month.  

Visitors are invited to join in with the music by playing Christmas carols with hand bells, or dancing down the service corridor with Mr and Mrs Raynor, the former butler and housekeeper. 

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Father Christmas in the Library at Castle Drogo, Devon. (National Trust Images / Trevor Ray Hart)

In the kitchens, volunteers will be making jellies and Christmas desserts, using some of the 374 jelly moulds. 

In the library of the castle, there will be appearances from Father Christmas, and elves leading a story-telling session. 

A winter family snowman trail is being designed in the gardens by the team at Drogo, along with a small group of students from Exeter College, to encourage families to get active and search for the ten snowmen dotted about the garden. 

Helen Yazhekov,  Visitor Experience Officer at Castle Drogo, commented: “We’re looking forward to opening the doors once again and welcoming visitors to experience Christmas in the castle.”

“With music in the drawing room and traditional decorations throughout, there’s lots to get you in a festive mood.  We’re fortunate to have an exceptional team of volunteers helping us decorate the castle, it’s a big job but with their help it always looks fantastic.”