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


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 head-board



Not comfy chairs

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

In the less improved portion of the castle


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 in 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