Thanks to a one-hour interview with Dominic Cummings, the British public are convinced that a 12th century ruin, in Teesside, is the gateway to Narnia. So jealous are they of Mr. Cummings’ day out, they now believe he was sneaking off to visit something really exciting; like Neverland, Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory or a paternity test with Boris Johnson.
Unfortunately, Barnard Castle is struggling to live up to the hype – as it looks like a budget Hogwarts, but without the threat of OFSTED. In fact, the general public have slightly over-reacted, treating a ticket to Barnard Castle like a backstage pass to The Beatles.
Certain elements of Mr. Cummings’ story do not make sense, not least of which was his claim that having Coronavirus in County Durham was somehow better than death in London. He also said that the drive to the ruin was to test his eyesight, but visitors to the area attest it is devoid of medieval optometrists.
Sadly, lockdown has made people fantasize about the most innocuous locations, with Barnard Castle now seen as more exotic than Jacob Rees Mogg wearing jeans and more exclusive than a Liberal Democrat reunion. The question remains, what is more dangerous, breaking lockdown or making English Heritage sound interesting?