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An Olympic gold medal from one of Britain’s greatest ever Olympians is now on display at Muncaster Castle in the Lake District. Swimmer Henry Taylor, from Oldham, won 3 Gold medals at the 1908 London Olympics – a feat that wasn’t matched for 100 years until Sir Chris Hoy won 3 Golds at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
The 1908 Olympic Games were originally awarded to Rome, but were subsequently moved to London. The destruction of Naples by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 1906 meant all available funds were diverted to help rebuild the city, so a new venue was sought, with London winning ahead of the other original candidates Berlin and Milan
The medal is on loan to Muncaster from Alan Foster, whose daughter Ann works at the Castle. Ann Foster’s paternal grandfather was a good friend of Henry Taylor and when Henry died the medal passed into the Foster family.
Henry won Gold medals in the 400m and 1500m freestyle and the 4 x 200m freestyle relay.
The medal will be joined on display by an Olympic Torch, which was carried through Kendal last month by local teenager Finlay Miles, who suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome.
Peter Frost-Pennington, from Muncaster, says “Henry Taylor was one of this country’s great sporting heroes and we are honoured to have one of his medals here at Muncaster. We’re also delighted to have one of the Torches that were carried through Cumbria recently.”
The medal and Torch will be on display in the Castle until September 9th.
There is plenty more at Muncaster to be enjoyed in August, as the Castle hosts its annual Summer of Fun. There will be entertainment every single day during the month, including performances by the current Fool of Muncaster, the brilliant and surreal James Macpherson, on August 13th & 14th.
On August 20 & 21, the wonderful and zany Maynard Flipflap, the 2006 Fool of Muncaster, returns to the Castle to entertain the crowds.
Muncaster Castle is the only Castle in the world that appoints a jester each year, at the annual International Jester Tournament.
Budding young entertainers can also learn a few tricks of their own during circus skills workshops run by talented young magician and Honorary Fool of Muncaster Joel Dickinson.
Over the Bank Holiday weekend, from August 25th - 27th, the medieval era returns to Muncaster, with re-enactors from the Red Wyvern society depicting life in the 15th century, with demonstrations of armoury, weaponry, battle re-enactments and cooking.
To find out more about events at Muncaster visit http://www.muncaster.co.uk