New outlook for castle

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I’m Rotherham born and bred.

And as long as I can remember, what should have been one of the little gems the town’s tourism folk could sing loudly and proudly about has been a neglected and unloved little eyesore.

As a child, I remember many a visit to Boston Park finishing up at the quaintest little castle you’ll ever see; a place surely from a fairy tale.

Boston Castle sat bracing itself against the wind that always seemed to holler at it from Canklow Meadows below.

When it was built by Thomas, Third Earl of Effingham in 1773, it was a posh destination.

A quirky and valiant little sign of the Earl’s opposition to Brits trying to crush the Americans in their war for independence, he named it to mark the famous Boston Tea Party in Massachusetts and used it as a hunting lodge.

But when I was a kid, I think some caretaker lived there. All visitors could do was walk around its walls and wonder what it was like inside, or go to a little window and buy a cup of tea, or a Walls ice cream, one of those oblong blocks that you unwrapped and slotted in an oblong cornet.

And then, crying shame, it got boarded up and covered in bird droppings and graffiti.

Now it’s being done up; almost £1 million is being spent (I wonder, how much less would it have cost to maintain it with a bit of TLC over the last 240 years?) This spring, the little gem will get its chance to sparkle.

I hope you get to go inside. With an oblong Wall’s Ice Cream.