After a fortifying cup of tea in the tea rooms I headed out to explore the gardens at the castle. Walter Speed, who became head gardener in 1862 and continued working there for an impressive 58 years, is considered the creator of the grounds and gardens. In fact the gardens were renowned as one of the top three best gardens in Britain and Speed was given the prestigious Victoria Medal for Horticulture by Queen Victoria herself.Continue reading
Posts Tagged With: castle
Penrhyn Castle Gardens
The Railway Museum at Penrhyn Castle
I hadn’t realised until I arrived at Penrhyn Castle that there was a railway museum on site – it’s based in what were the stables where 36 of the estate’s horses used to call home. If you’ve been around for a while you’ll know that my dad is very much a train enthusiast and I have been dragged to all manner of train related sites throughout the country from a very young age so I was especially keen to photograph everything I could to show him.Continue reading
I can’t quite remember how Penrhyn Castle came up in my research as things to do in North Wales but it ended up being my favourite destination. It’s one of those rare National Trust properties that’s easy to get to by public transport. Closer to Bangor than Conwy it’s a pleasant 40 minutes by bus from Conwy town centre (Arriva buses have a very handy app that worked well and an all day ticket covering North Wales cost me £6.50). The bus stop is right outside the entrance to the castle although there is then a gentle mile walk down the driveway to the ticket office and round to the castle itself.Continue reading
Conwy is a lovely small town on the North Wales coast with a skyline dominated by Conwy Castle and the town walls which date from the 13th century and both of which will feature in a future post. On the banks of the Conwy estuary the town (and castle) had a good defensive position on rocky elevated ground and also where a narrowing of the river allowed for crossings at slack tide.Continue reading
Lincoln Castle is directly opposite Lincoln Cathedral and I visited both with a joint ticket of £18. Built in 1068 by William the Conqueror the castle is also the site of a Victorian prison, one of only four original copies of the Magna Carta and Lincoln’s Crown Court, which is still in use today.
Beaumaris Castle on the Isle of Anglesey in North Wales was another castle, like Caernarfon to be built by Edward I. Construction began in 1295 but stopped around 1300 with the castle unfinished.
Caernarfon Castle is a medieval fortress in north-west Wales run by CADW, the Welsh Government’s historic environment service and is a World Heritage site. Edward I had the current castle built in 1283, replacing the previous fortifications on the site. Unusually the towers of the castle are polygonal rather than round and we spent a lot of time walking up and down spiral staircases to take in fabulous views of Caernarfon and the castle itself.
Edinburgh Castle is an impressively large fortress that sits above the city on Castle Rock. There’s been a royal castle on the site since at least the 12th century, with it continuing to be a royal residence until 1633.
Bamburgh Castle is another of Northumberland’s impressive castles, notable for its position on a rocky outcrop allowing for some wonderful views of the surrounding coastline. The area has been occupied for over 10,000 years and there’s been a building there since at least 547 with successive owners from the Normans, Anglo-Saxons and Victorians adding to the castle’s structure.
One of the largest still inhabited castles in the country, Alnwick Castle has been the home of the Percy family for over 700 years. In 1309 Henry Percy purchased a Norman style castle and converted it into a border fortress – over the following years the Scots did mount raids against the castle – and since then it has been extended and rebuilt, and faced other threats such as during the War of the Roses and the Civil War.