All that remains of the motte-and-bailey Oakham Castle is the Great Hall, built by Walkelin de Ferrers in 1180. Although it was visited by several kings over the centuries (and was in the ownership of the crown for much of that time), by the mid-16th-century all but the Great Hall was in disrepair.
Walkelin de Ferrers fought for King Richard I in the Third Crusades, but in 1194 the king was held for ransom by the Holy Roman Emporer Henry VI. To help the king, Walkelin (amongst others) offered themselves as hostages in exchange for the king! Walkelin was released in 1197.
In the Great Hall, you will see lots and lots of horseshoes, a collection that has been growing since at least 1470. You will also see columns in the Great Hall. What kind of carved performers sit above these columns?
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