Don’t have time for a trip across the pond to Merry Ole England? Then have a Midwestern British experience by visiting Stronghold Castle in Oregon, Illinois. They host a two-day English Faire every year in October.
Stronghold Castle was completed in 1930 for Walter Strong, owner of the Chicago Daily News. He built the house as a summer get-away for himself and his family. They enjoyed it for thirty years before it was sold to the Presbyterian Church, which now uses the property as a conference center and retreat.
The Old English Faire takes place on the Stronghold grounds. There’s entertainment, music, food, and a merchant’s bazaar. This year, 2016, the Faire is October 1st and 2nd.
The merchants’ booths offer interesting wares, and you’ll have opportunities for some great photos as you stroll the area.
The castle is open for tours during that weekend, too. You never know what you’ll see!
The Stronghold English Faire is a unique fall event held in a beautiful setting. Plan to attend, and you and your family will have many lasting memories.
Bonus stop: Eternal Indian
Keeping watch over the Rock River is Lorado Taft’s Eternal Indian, also known as Blackhawk Statue. It’s not far from Stronghold Castle.
The statue was completed in 1911 and dedicated to all Native Americans. It’s made of concrete and stands 48 feet tall.
Lorado Taft studied art at the University of Illinois and later in Paris. He became a well-known sculptor and received many commissions. He also taught at the University of Chicago where he had a studio in the area. Although there is a long list of Taft’s work on display in Illinois, his art can be seen as far away as Seattle and Washington, D.C.