Circus comes to Dunham Massey for historic summer event

It was the unsuitable love affair which would would see polite society look down its collective noses at a great stately home – a young earl running away with a circus girl and abandoning Dunham Massey to its “Lost Years”.

This summer a range of traditional circus-themed attractions are going to be on offer at Dunham Massey as the National Trust property recalls the astonishing period in the property’s history.

Wild Rumpus, award-winning producers of The Just So Festival, and Dunham Massey are joining forces to present the unforgettable family summer of circus.

The initiative is designed to mark the incredible story of Dunham’s Lost Years and the controversial Victorian marriage of George Harry, 7th Earl of Stamford & Warrington to daring horse rider and circus performer Catharine Cox.

A range of additional attractions will be on offer for visitors to the National Trust property.

Roll up to Dunham

20 July – 10 August – Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays & Sundays

Run away with the circus and show off your bravery and prowess for 3 weeks only with workshops and performances that change daily and a series of glorious installations that will make people believe you are actually on the circus wagons ready for your next performance!

Tightrope walk across the sky, be shot from a rocket and take part in a knife-throwing show. Show off your talents to your friends by sharing your photos using #rolluptodunham

Gasp and faint at the talented folk from Circus House with different performances each day including aerial mastery on a trapeze, tightropewalking, stiltwalking, and juggling galore.

Try your hand at all manner of circus amazement at their family workshops and perform your own circus show hula hooping and tumbling on the lawns.

Take part in cartwheeling competitions, circus creative writing and illustration workshops and make your own hobby horse or circus poster to take home.

Step into other worlds through incredible storytelling, music, science and magic with storytellers to end all storytellers Ian Douglas, Gary “Gacko” Bridgens and Dieter Wadeson.

Run Away With the Circus Trail

11 August – 4 September – daily
Return for the last 3 weeks of the summer holidays to continue your circus adventures by following the “Run away with the circus” trail around the garden.
Try your hand at juggling, stilt walking, tightrope walking, hula hooping and feather balancing. Imagine the drumroll as you stand bareback on a carnival horse for the grand finale.

Jessica Webb, Visitor Experience Manager at Dunham Massey, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Wild Rumpus in what promises to be an action packed summer of fantastic circus activities.

“We’ll also be telling the story inside the house of the glamorous Catharine Cox, Countess of Stamford & Warrington, who was a famous circus bareback rider before her marriage to the 7th Earl, which was to change Dunham’s history forever.”

Rowan Hoban, Director, Wild Rumpus says “We are thrilled to be working with the National Trust this summer to create these circus adventures and trail for family audiences at Dunham. Our hearts lie in immersing families in moments of wonder and we cannot wait to see some fantastic #rolluptodunham photos over the next few weeks.”