Search This Blog

Friday, May 23, 2014

Castles; Time builds castles, and time destroys them.

The saying in the heading of this post is attributed to being an old Serbian proverb.

Castles...not something you come across much here in Queensland or the rest of Australia for that matter. I've visited the 'castle' at Bli Bli on the Sunshine Coast and the castle like structure at Paronella Park in North Queensland but somehow they were not really awe-inspiring. That's why the UK and European castles are quite popular with Aussie tourists.
I've already written posts about Windsor Castle, the castle at Newcastle and posted a photo of Carnarvon Castle  through the mists when we took a steam train ride out of that city. A Google search suggested that there are over 1500 castle sites in the UK...although admittedly little evidence of some of them remain, just as the Serbian proverb states. I must state here that DH and I did not attempt to find and visit any where near that total! lol

 In this post, I'm going to take you on a quick visit to 3 of the castles that we saw in the UK, including a closer look at Carnarvon Castle. One of these three has not withstood the ravages of time as well as the other 2 as you will see...
Firstly another look at Carnarvon, which is inside the old city wall...


Unfortunately, because we had had a 2 hour train ride, by the time we arrived at the castle, it was only just over half an hour or so until closing time...not worth the entry fee really, so we walked around it and into the town ...



Looking back at the castle from the shops' area...


A building in the town that caught my eye...


The next castle, we encountered in another Welsh town...


Time had not been kind to Llandovery Castle as the next photo will show...originally one of the hundreds of fortifications built by the Norman invaders after 1066, repeated skirmishes saw the castle go back and forth from English to Welsh to English conquerors...falling in to disrepair, it suffered the ultimate indignity when townspeople took stones from its walls to construct homes etc in the town.


The statue in front of the mound where the castle once stood is of a Welshman, Llywelyn ap Gruffudd who led forces to again take the castle from the English in 1282...but it was to be only for a brief time before the English regained this stronghold.

 The statue is quite striking/eerie as it is headless with the helmet sitting atop fresh air.


To be honest, DH and I came across this castle site/ruin quite by accident. We had decided to stop for a coffee and loo visit in this town and the public parking area just happened to be in front of the castle...as this photo from the internet shows...it's also the bus stop area for the town too.

The town was beautiful...all the buildings were so well looked after...


The next castle was in the town of Carlisle which was our stopover 8 days later when we were on the way to Edinburgh...
Again we arrived late in the day, but headed into the town centre...and found a car park almost straight away!



At first we thought we had found the castle in the town centre...


But on closer inspection these were some old city wall gate fortifications dating back to Roman times... so we went off to find some signs which would lead us to the castle...we found a carpark area just near the hill on which the castle stood. It was a lovely spot with a park and a children's playground...


A statue of Queen Victoria...
 
We can see the castle from the carpark...but the entry is a bit of a trek around the corner and up the hill a way...

On the way we spied some 'chairs'...just perfect for a bit of a 'rest'! lol



After trudging up the hill, we are almost at the castle entry!




Again we had arrived at an attraction late in the day, so this was as far as we went...the door was huge, thick, and very old...over 900 years old. Originally a Roman fortress was on this site which was replaced by the castle. The website for Carlisle Castle details what sound like fascinating features of this place.

Before we left the UK to travel to France, DH and I spent a day at Dover Castle and a post on this interesting and historical place is still in the draft stage of writing. Dover Castle is by no means a ruin however...being an important part of Britain's defences during war time. 

4 comments:

shez said...

wow Maria i found all this very interesting,castles fascinate me,thankyou for sharing.xx

Susan said...

To be able to look at those castles and walk around them must have felt marvellous. So much history.
I really liked that building that caught your eye earlier in your post. How fascinating it would be to see the rooms inside there.
Thanks for your email too Maria. You enjoy the company of such lovely people - and they're enjoy the same of you :D)

angela said...

Of the things I'm looking forward to seeing myself when we go over to Europe. Love castles. Thanks for sharing

Vireya said...

I love those big chairs!