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.
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.
I wonder what next week will bring - maybe I'll show you Dewstow Gardens and Hidden Grottos.