I redesigned and renamed this blog to honour the age-old Welsh tradition of storytelling, usually done when the harvest was in and people gathered by the fireside or hearth after a good feast. Where’s this particular splendid fireplace from?
Ages ago I promised you a return visit to this castle because the pictures I’d found at the time didn’t really get across how vast the site and castle really are. This is a fireplace from one of the master chambers and I guess it’s big enough to roast a medium sized wild boar or goat, if you don’t fancy climbing down draughty stairs to reach the kitchens (right next to the smelly dungeons).
It was just fantastic to see the room proportions, the height of the ceiling, the narrow winding staircases and enormous fire places – it will all find its way into my very own take on the Arthurian legends soon, so watch out for those to appear at a Jukepopserials outlet near you!
For once we actually had a summer in Wales so one fine day in early September I went happy-snappy to one of the largest castle-moat complexes in the world (the largest in Britain, if I’m not mistaken): Caerphilly in Wales.
I won’t bore you with the background data in this post – just feast your eyes on medieval architecture that’s just so “awesome” as our American friends would say. And yes, bits and pieces from the BBC’s hit series “Merlin” were filmed here!
The castle complex may look abandoned, but you’ll soon find it’s not unprotected:
If you cannot prove to these sentinels that you are there for entirely honest purposes (such as feeding them titbits of tasty bread or taking pictures of their glorious feathered-ness), you’d better buck up your ideas.
Having committed the grave sin of not arriving with bribes, I watched these sturdy Canada geese rush off in search of the castellan.
I didn’t hang around and hurried along the path through the park, snapping away at the castle as I went.
Finding one of the entrances unguarded – it was fairly early in the morning, the castle guards were probably still enjoying their bacon and eggs – I rushed through the park and up to the gate.
To show you how vast the complex is, here’s a picture taken from top of the tower:
Deciding that perhaps I might be allowed in if I paid my dues, I strolled confidently up to the main gate and demanded entry. Here you can clearly see the famous “leaning” tower.
An honest traveller with a bona fide ticket is eventually allowed into the great hall – sadly, the breakfast feasting was already over and a servant was clearing away the debris (NOT Merlin, before all you Merlinians get over-excited).
Next time I’ll show you a few of the fortifications, reconstruction war machines and chambers reserved for lesser members of the household. Hope you didn’t mind revisiting this homely Welsh castle:)