Saturday, 25 June 2011

Cardiff Castle

My mum has wanted to visit Cardiff Castle for years. So I thought it would be a lovely birthday treat to take her.

This is the keep which was built on top of a motte, one of the oldest parts of the castle.

The BBC promised wall to wall sunshine, hmm not quite what we got (notice the grey tone to the sky!) although the sun did make a few brief appearances. But we didn't go for the stunning welsh weather, we went to see the fabulous and quite frankly overwhelmingly detailed interiors designed by William Burges. I could have spent a whole day looking round the apartments and not seen all of the detail, it must have been an amazing place to live. Gold leaf glinted off many of the surfaces intermingled with sumptuous colours, heavily carved wood and amazing stone and plasterwork.

This is the ceiling corner in one of the bedrooms. There were little heads like this one sticking out all around the room, a little unnerving to be watched all the time, and the ceiling had lots of mirrors, those Victorians were an interesting lot!

They even had a Pompeii inspired roof garden to relax in on warm sunny days. I don't suppose they saw too many of them as the family only spent 6 weeks each year at Cardiff Castle, the rest of their time was divided between the other 9 homes they frequented (they owned a LOT more than 10 tho!). Ahhh how the rich lived, must have been so taxing, if it was me I would definitely have needed a roof garden to relax in!

This statue of Madonna and child in the roof garden was positioned so that the rays of the evening sun during the time that the family was there each year, would spill through the arrow slit opposite and illuminate the scene, true attention to detail.

I have to say that it was a truly inspiring visit and well worth the trip, I would definitely recommend it to anyone who likes arts and crafts. We got to convert our tickets in to season passes for free so we will definitely be going back for another Burges overdose.

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