Storming the Castle: Durham Castle under attack!

The statue of Marilyn Monroe in the Undercroft Bar: the ultimate prize.

The statue of Marilyn Monroe in the Undercroft Bar: the ultimate prize. 

Durham Castle is still in constant threat of attack. But from where does this peril come?

On Hatfield Day every year (15th June) the students of Hatfield College – Durham University's second oldest college, and a traditional rival of University College – have a tradition of storming the Castle. Hatfield students are woken up by a band calling them to participate in this college ritual. After drinks and breakfast, the Hatfield student community marches up to the Castle (where they are secretly let in). They rush into the Castle courtyard, singing their college songs and trying to hang a Hatfield College banner on the building. Although the taking of booty is technically forbidden, the ultimate symbol of success is to capture the life-size statue of Marilyn Munro in the Undercroft Bar, where, for obvious reasons, it remains chained.    

Hatfield students singing their college songs in the Castle Courtyard - an example of the friendly rivalry that exists between colleges.

Hatfield students singing their college songs in the Castle Courtyard - an example of the friendly rivalry that exists between colleges.