About Me

My photo
Delta, British Columbia, Canada
I took very early retirement from teaching in '06 and did some traveling in Europe and the UK before settling down to do some private tutoring. As a voracious reader, I have many books waiting in line for me to read. Tell me I shouldn't read something, and I will. I'm a happy, optimistic person and I love to travel and through that believe that life can be a continuous learning experience. I'm looking forward to traveling more some day. I enjoy walking, cycling, water aerobics & and sports like tennis, volleyball, and fastpitch/baseball. I'm just getting into photography as a hobby and I'm enjoying learning all the bits and bobs of my digital camera. My family is everything to me and I'm delighted to be the mother of two girls and the Gramma of a boy and a girl. I may be a Gramma, but I'm at heart just a girl who wants to have fun.

Monday, July 25, 2016

C is for CASTELL COCH

Hi everyone!  I've come home from my trip abroad and my mind is simply bursting with ideas for my weekly ABC Wednesday posts.  Since we're on Week C, I was trying to decide whether to do castles or cathedrals or colours, or the company I had.  After considerable concentration, I decided to introduce you to Castell Coch (Castle Coch) which is located in south-east Wales.

To begin with, this castle is a 19th-century Gothic Revival castle. It was built above the village of Tongwynlais in South Wales. The first castle on the site was built by the Normans after 1081, to protect the newly conquered town of Cardiff and control the route along the Taff Gorge. Abandoned shortly afterwards, the location was reused by Gilbert Le Clare for a new stone fortification (1267-1277) to protect his annexed Welsh lands.  It was destroyed during the native Welsh rebellion of 1334.  In 1760, the castle ruins were acquired by John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute as part of a marriage settlement that brought the family vast estates in South Wales.
I visited the castle with my good friend Jane, who lives nearby.  We oohed and aahed all throughout, especially when we got to the room where the lady of the house slept!  We had tea in the tea room with a piece of bara brith, a Welsh spiced fruit bread that's made with tea and spread with salted Welsh butter.  Yummy!  Afterwards, we received a tip that if we turned left at the castle exit and went right up to the top of the hill to the Fforest Fawr, we could see a carved wooden dragon.  (The dragon is the Welsh national symbol and on the flag.)  So off we went to see some fantastic wooden sculptures done by Ami Marsden who carved the dragon out of a dead oak tree. 

So this is what we could see as we drove towards the castle after we'd turned off the main highway. It rose up above the trees and beckoned us to continue on to its ramparts, dungeon, lord's and lady's rooms, kitchens, the dining room, the drawing room, the winch room, etc.  Castell Coch is well known for being used in the film industry for programmes such Dr Who, The Worst Witch and Merlin. Many parents in the local area will know it's also home to the 'tooth fairy.' The following photo is courtesy of the photographer RJMorgans...taken December 2012.
Enjoy the Smilebox video - all photos are mine except the very first one and the music is "Angel of Monmouth," which I chose since we're visiting Monmouthshire, Wales.


Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
I wonder what next week will bring - maybe I'll show you Dewstow Gardens and Hidden Grottos.

17 comments:

GaynorB said...

Enjoy your holiday. I remember Castell Coch well as I was brought up in Monmouthshire, and not too far away. I look forward to reading more about your trip.

Reader Wil said...

Dear Leslie, have a great holiday in The UK. I enjoyed seeing your video! William the Conqueror would have been delighted if he could have seen his former castle.

Trubes said...

Truly lovely Leslie,
love Di xx

Arnoldo L. Romero, MLA said...

WOW! It sounds like your trip was one of those marvelous lifetime experiences, which is also evident from the spectacular photographs in your Smilebox. I love all the Religious artwork you captured, as well as that whimsical dragon sculpted from a tree trunk. I can't wait to see more photographs from your trip during upcoming posts. Blessings, my friend!

photowannabe said...

You look like you are having the time of your life.
Love your happy face.
That is an amazing castle..I think I would have worn my camera out.
Snap-happy Heaven.

carol l mckenna said...

Wonderful post and delightful post and photos for C ~ sounds like you had a great time ~

Happy Week to you ~ ^_^

Photo Cache said...

Awesome choice. Thanks for the tour.

My ABC WEDNESDAY

ellen b said...

Oh yippee! Glad you had a marvelous time in the U.K. Looking forward to all you have to share. I do hope we can travel back to the U.K. and visit more of Wales! Castle Coch is very cool...

Melody Steenkamp said...

welcome back Leslie, wonderful to 'see' you again

I am looking forward to all your ideas, the start is very well, a wonderful beginning.

Have a nice ABC-W-Day / - week
♫ M e l ☺ d y ♫ (abc-w-team)
http://melodymusic.nl/abc-wednesday-19-c/

Rajesh said...

Wonderful to know about this castle.

Hildred said...

I'm glad you travel, Leslie, and even more pleased that you share the wonderful experiences you have. Welsh history is fascinating. And your Smilebox beautifully put together....

Eleaine Sarah Thomas Jobs Bush said...

a castle is good to think about.

Amit Agarwal said...

Great pictures and video! Enjoyed:) Thank you Leslie:)

Uppal said...

Enjoyed viewing the beautifully done video!

Joy said...

What beautiful attention to detail in the interior. You've got to love the Victorians for their flights of imagination. Super dragon, I like her way markers too.

Roger Owen Green said...

The CURSE of my last vacation is that I have tons to write about too! Glad you had such a lovely time.

ROG, ABCW

Liz Hinds said...

Definitely on my list of places to visit!