Sunday, July 24, 2016

Preview Of Coming Attractions

I'm a bit behind. I was within five posts of caught-up, but then we hit London, and then grand-daughter Penelope (and parents) arrived, and tonight we're at the port of Dover, awaiting transport tomorrow to beloved France. As I catch up, there will be posts on Erdigg House and Gardens, Stowe House and Gardens, Highclere (Downtown Arby's), Ascot, Waddesdon, Hampton Court and Gardens, Tate Britain, Kew Gardens, the British Library, V&A, Hever Castle, Bodiam Castle, and more. Stay tuned.

PS. July 26. Le Touquet/Paris Plage. We're in France now, with P, so it may be a while before I post again!


Sunday, July 17, 2016

Chirk Church

After Chirk castle and gardens we parked at the Chirk RR station. One of the things we have learned on this trip is that the train stations, especially way out in the boonies like Chirk, can be very quiet and safe places to savage-camp, with no prohibitions and no cost. The provincial lines simply don't run at night. After dinner, we walked into Chirk town and visited Chirk Church, an old parish church that was a hub of activity that evening, decorating for a Saturday wedding.
Chirk RR station
















No ordinary station; even though it is not staffed (you just board
the train and see the conductor about a ticket), it is still
beautifully landscaped and appointed


















Chirk Church, dates from 15th-16th centuries,
though predecessors stood on the site much
earlier






















Double nave, the right side younger
















Painted carvings on the terminals of the arch
braces; 15th-16th

Not funny faces

But close







































Nice Perpendicular windows, 15th




















16th




















On the south side, many memorials, mostly to
the Myddletons








































And these cute little paddles, offering an
English translation of the Latin memorial
inscriptions










































Interesting place

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Chirk Castle Garden

Chirk's gardens are smaller than many, but still of interest, especially the 170-year-old topiary, some of the most extensive we've seen.
A first for us: crenellated hedges


Nice little coves


The formal gardens all going strong






We never ever miss Sweet Peas

It was the next to last week of school, so there were several
classes of kiddies on tour


Neat place, Chirk

Chirk Castle, 2

Continuing our visit to Chirk Castle, in Wales...
May have been used as the model for Sauron;
note pointy toes




















1930s comfy room, where luminaries like Gershwin and Cole
Porter were entertained


Genealogical scroll (facsimile)

Deeds, etc.

Down-cycling: top part of fireplace had been a
a head-board

Library

Courtyard

Not comfy chairs

In the original kitchen, now the site's tea room

In the less improved portion of the castle

Thus

In the servants' dining room; note the little beer barrel on wheels

House Rules

Chirk Castle, 1

We liked Chirk Castle. It was built in 1295 by Roger Mortimer for Edward I, part of the chain of great castles stretching across northern Wales, to keep the Welsh in order. Chirk is not as large nor defensively complex as the others. But it is not merely a ruins as most of the others are. The Myddleton family bought the castle in 1593, and slowly converted it into a residence and then a great house and gardens. It came to the Trust only 2004, so its rooms and decor are an excellent example of National Trustick...medieval here, Tudor there, Georgian or Victorian here, 1930s somewhere else. There's a rationale, and it works in these houses that have been lived in, often by the same families, for centuries. Chirk is a great example.






Original Myddleton owner







Beautiful long hall; a necessity in the times