Tag: medieval

Chepstow Castle, Wales

Those who have been following my blog will know that we had an American friend visit us last month and because of this, we had the lovely opportunity to turn into tourists, as we showed him parts of England (especially in Cornwall where we live), and some places we’ve never been before as mentioned on a couple of posts (here and here).  Then we drove up to Bristol to stay with another good friend which gave us a chance to show him the city which is very dear to our little family.  And most importantly, meet up with more good friends, it was like a mini-reunion for all of us who have met, volunteered and lived together in Ghana many years ago.

Our Bristol friend then took us to the land of the red dragon – Wales.

This is Chepstow Castle.

A short(ish) drive from Bristol is Chepstow Castle, the oldest surviving post-Roman stone fortification in the UK.  It is perched up above the banks of the river Wye. The castle was made in 1067 under instructions from the Norman Lord William FitzOsbern, a year after William The Conqueror was crowned King of England.  FitzOsbern was later made Earl of Hereford, apparently his was one of the first peerage titles in English Aristocracy.

The castle was further expanded in 1189-1300.

FitzOsbern’s Great Tower seen above.

Inside the great tower.

Amazing medieval carvings can still be seen on the corner walls, which makes one think If only these carvings could talk, imagine what they would say?  The history it would tell, stories of ancient battles, Lords and Mistresses who have resided in this castle over the centuries …

 Part of the arch built to separate the first floor room in the great tower in the 13th century.  The intricate details are still very much visible as seen on the photo above.

Little T had great fun exploring the medieval castle with her own red dragon bought by our Bristol friend and her little Grommit hanging by her belt.

The breathtaking views of the Welsh countryside as seen through an ancient window.

A medieval door was currently being restored when we visited.

A definite must-visit when in Wales!

Click here for more of Chepstow’s history and directions on how to visit this lovely Norman castle.

This post is linked with Coombe Mill’s country kids.

The Charm of Arundel Castle

We were lucky our good friend who hosted our stay in Brighton also happened to live near an 11th century castle named Arundel in West Sussex.  Don’t you think it sounds very Arthurnian or like a place in a Tolkien book?  It certainly is grand.  And inside, you would imagine a medieval castle to look dark with small rooms and look dingy.  Arundel isn’t like that at all.  It is as impressive inside as it is outside.  Large stately rooms, the only dark room was the library with centuries old books.

The castle has also been owned by the family of the Duke of Norfolk for over 400 years now.  In fact, some of the rooms are closed-off to visitors because they are being used by the family members. You’ll also see some personal photos of the family scattered in the many rooms in the castle.  Going through the rooms, left me wondering what it’s like to live in a medieval castle in the modern age?   A bit eerie I guess.

It’s also interesting to note that the castle had (still has) a Catholic chapel.  Imagine being a Catholic during the time when it was actually illegal to be one in England?  This was during the reign of Henry the VIII during the English Reformation.

 Arundel castle is a lovely place to visit, not just for adults but for children as well.  As you enter, you will see a few tents up with a story-teller, a pirate’s tent and an archery tent for children who wants to try out archery.

Storyteller’s tent

Duel with a pirate.

And of course, exploring the castle’s rooms one-by-one is a wonderful experience.  For safety and privacy reasons, visitors weren’t allowed to take photos inside, so all the photos I took were taken outside.

Just a small bit of the castle’s wing.

Visitors enjoying the medieval castle’s view.

The keep of the tower, one of the oldest parts in the castle.

I sneaked my camera out of my pocket to take this photo of T looking out the many windows of Arundel Castle.  Notice how small the windows are?

And that’s T playing in Arundel’s garden with her wooden sword, purchased from the Castle’s souvenir shop.

If you’ve just visited Brighton and you’re still in the area, visiting Arundel Castle is a definite must, especially if you are into history and also have children in tow.  For more information about the castle, click here.