Oakham is a small market town, but in spite of its size is the county town of the tiny county of Rutland.
The Great Hall of Oakham Castle has been shown to have been partly constructed by the same masons who worked on Canterbury Cathedral.
The castle is particularly famous for its unique collection of giant horseshoes, traditionally given by visiting peers of the realm and royalty. The earliest of these was given by Edward IV, the elder brother of Richard III. The most ostentatious was presented by the Prince Regent, who later became George IV, and the most recent was given by Princess Anne.
Oakham still has a weekly market in the Market Place, just off the High Street, where the impressive timber Butter Cross contains an intriguing set of stocks with five holes.
There are many suggested explanations for this, including the existence of a habitual one-legged drunk. However, it was only necessary to have one leg in the stocks to be effectively imprisoned.
The Rutland County Museum is housed in a building originally constructed as a cavalry school at the time of the Napoleonic Wars.
Many of the buildings in the town belong to Oakham School, founded by Archdeacon Robert Johnson in 1584, the same year that he founded Uppingham School. The original building still stands in the churchyard.
One of Oakham's most famous sons was Jeffrey Hudson, who was born in a picturesque thatched cottage in the High Street. The tiny Jeffrey Hudson jumped out of a pie at a banquet at nearby Burley-on-the Hill. He had many adventures, including fighting duels and being captured by pirates, and was the inspiration for the stories about Tom Thumb.
A less worthy man born in Oakham was Titus Oates. A failed priest, he brought the Popish Plot to the attention of the authorities. This was a scheme to assassinate the King and Parliament, and replace them all with Catholics. Many prominent Catholics were rounded up and some were executed. Later, Oates admitted that he had made the whole thing up - he just didn't like Catholics.
Blue Badge Guide Colin Crosby is available to lead Guided Walks around Oakham for groups.
Events in Oakham
Places in Oakham
All Saints Church, Butter Cross, Cutts Close, Flores House, High Street, Jeffery Hudsons Cottage, Market Place, Oakham Castle, Oakham School, Oakham Station, Public Library, Rutland County Museum, Somerfield, St. Anne and St. John, Stamford Road Gardens, The Maltings, Whipper - in Hotel