Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Powis Castle

Powis Castle as seen from the Gardens.  The building in front is a pavilion used for entertaining.
Built on the top of a hill, the first thing that struck me was the color, Red.  Of course, it's a rusty red, but red none the less.  Powis Castle started as a medieval fortress, then over time, thanks to the owners, the Herbert family, it became a home, albeit, very large and formidable. 

The Herbert Coat of Arms, an elephant and a dragon.

Everyone should have a statue in the front lawn.
The gardens were the idea of the 1st Marquess of Powis in the 1680's.  It is considered to be the best example of a Baroque garden in England, something the Welsh are very proud of.  Violet, the Countess of Powis can be thanked for reviving the garden in the 1900's, while maintaining the original style.

The yew trees at the top are part of what make this such a unique garden. Most are original to the garden.

The second "layer" of the garden.  They are terraced down to the playing fields.

The gardens just go on and on.  A view of the lower gardens from the terraced area.

Inside the castle, while very elegant, was extremely dark.  This is due to dark wood paneling, dark paintings on the walls instead of wall paper, and all the curtains being pulled to protect the dark paintings.  All in all a bit gloomy.  The Grand Staircase, which took 13 years to build, is off limits to our feet, but still very Grand to behold.  We weren't allowed to take pictures inside, even without a flash. 

Entrance to the Castle.
The castle is also home to the Clive Museum, which houses the treasure that Clive of India brought back after subduing that nation for England.  Clive worked on a percentage, so he made out very well.  One hooka must have 400 rubies and emeralds decorating it.  Clive wasn't a Herbert, but when he married the daughter, he brought his fortune with him, and was given a title, too.

The door knob on the main castle door is a dragon.

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