Wednesday 18 May 2011

Castles wanted, preferably ruined

This may be sentimental of me, but I'm a romantic and I rather like castles with a bit of wear on them. The well-kept ones like this one at Ludlow in Shropshire,  have a rugged grandeur and give a lot more scope for a writer's research, but there's something about a ruin.

The one lurking behind me on my usual mugshot is a good case in point: Dunstanburgh has one of the best locations in the country - acres of green, little villages, wild Northumberland coast - but it wouldn't have the same charm for me if it was complete and shiny-new.

'Athelstan's Tower' at Exeter, where the Rougemont Castle site is a delectable public garden and the sandstone tower sits in the wall near the war memorial, is part of my husband's home-town memories.

The battered gatehouse of the old castle at Sherborne in Dorset- the town has two, the second later and swankier - breathes long-vanished adventure to me, even (maybe especially) in a dull and rainy autumn afternoon.

Nonsense for a medievalist, I know, but indulge me.

Bookmark and Share


Hywela Lyn said...

Just catching up on reading blogs.

I share your love of 'battered castles' Lindsay, and have vkivid memories of growing up in Aberystyth, and long days in the summer spent at the ruins of the Castle overlooking Cardigan Bay.

My friends and I used to love acting out stories and imagining ourselves as Kings and Qeens, and exploring the remains of the dungeons. These long stone passages have since been gated up due to modern Health and Safety regulations and whenever I visit now, it seems a lot less imposing and even more of a ruin, but it's still a fascinating place to walk around and imagine what it must have been like in it's full glory.

Lindsay Townsend said...

I love your stories of Kings and Queens, Lyn!

I agree that health and safety have rather cut down the fun to be had in these places.