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Meet the History Team: Melissa Paniccia

Melissa Paniccia

Role: Head of Historical Interpretation

Started role: June 2016

What is your favourite period of history and why?

I would have to say the Renaissance. I came to study this period whilst at university and found it was full of so much intrigue, with politics, ideas, culture and society really breaking the boundaries of accepted thought. I think I also have a particular love for this period due to my Italian roots, and was lucky enough to study in Venice for a few months.

Describe your regular day at the castle.

Well, no day is ever the same. Usually I start the day by getting the team’s rotas ready, ensuring all the tours for the day are on and all special tours added. I then attend morning brief to find out everything going on at the castle that day. The day usually consists of researching aspects of the castle’s history for new tours, interpretation, exhibitions or shows, and answering guest queries regarding the history of the castle. But sometimes the day involves filming, covering tours, meeting contractors or doing routine paper work. Never a dull day!

If you could meet one of the people from the castle’s history, who would it be and why?

I would love to meet Anne Neville. She is a character with so much mystery and power. Philippa Gregory’s book ‘The Kingmaker’s Daughter’ is one of my favourite works of historical fiction, and I find Anne to be a fascinating young lady who played such an integral role during the Wars of the Roses. A girl who was manipulated by her father for his own political gain, but one who ends up becoming Queen of England through her marriage to Richard III. I also find the conspiracy theories behind the disappearance of the Princes in the Tower fascinating. She would definitely be an interesting lady to meet.

Tell us a fascinating fact that not many people know about you!

I was one of the youngest ever contestants on the TV quiz show Pointless. My friend and I were on the show just a couple of months after we had turned 18 years old.


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