Now, left to my own devices, I would always have an outing mid-week, when places are quieter, but I was going with my friend Pam, who works for herself, and only has weekends free. She couldn't do Saturday, so Bank Holiday Monday it had to be. I don't now about you, but most folk I know think it's a good idea to stay at home on a Bank Holiday . . . Anyhoo, I wanted to visit Powis Castle. Things were going well until we turned in to approach the castle, straight into a long tailback of cars trying to get to the car park. When we eventually got to turn in across the park, we were advised it might take up to an hour's wait at the car park just to get a space. We thought, well, we've come this far, we'll go in. Just as well as we got a space straight away . . .
Well of course, we knew it would be busy and goodness, the house was absolutely HEAVING with people and if I get away without having caught Something Nasty in the cold department, I shall count myself very fortunate. I really did NOT want to be cheek by jowl with so many people, trying to see the rooms - imagine a little fenced off area in the doorway, where you crammed in to see the room. Not ideal.
HERE IS A LINK to the history of the castle, and lots more photos including the collections. That will keep you quiet for hours! MUST SEE LINK FOR GARDENS - if you are a gardener, oh my goodness, you are in for unboundless delight at the plantings . . .
How's this for a door-knocker?!
My goodness, WHAT an amazing place and furniture to rival anything at Buckingham Palace! Fabulous painted ceilings throughout (totally over the top!) with beautiful plasterwork into the bay windows, leaves and a stag figured. No photos allowed of course and tan-coloured rollerblinds throughout to only allow a dim light in to protect the tapestries, paintings and furniture. Much to see and we didn't see all of it I'm sure. I am planning to go back and have a SLOW walk around on a quiet day. Probably before the schools break up in July, when the gardens are at their best.
There was a display of Kaffe Fasset tapestry cushions, patchwork quilts and knitted throws, all seen in a dim light. Some of the quilts were laid across the main staircase which was a nice way of displaying them. I have to say, his colour-way is always very bright, but some appeared to have been pieced by whatever pattern happened to come to hand and really didn't "gel" together. One lady in front of me was saying how lovely they were, but "she could never do something like that." Of course you can, I told her, you start small, and make yourself a cushion, or even just a wee pincushion and see if you enjoy it. I hope she will. Just as well we didn't go into the main shop as I found out (when I got home) that they were selling Kaffe Fasset patchwork kits (cushions I assume) and his latest book Quilts in Wales in the shop . . . I've taken some photos from the little free guide they hand out.
Not a very restful palette in the first quilt. That would jangle my nerves no end! It's that pale blue . . .
I find the stone heads a bit spooky, especially the one on the left who made me think of Medusa. Sorry these aren't very clear (page wouldn't open properly), but you get the idea.
I have got to try and get Keith walking better, as although the castle is not the LEAST bit wheel-chair or disabled friendly, they do offer a wheelchair for seeing round downstairs, as long as you can manage the steps INTO the castle. Lots of stairs to see the upper floor, so that's a non-starter. Likewise, 15 steps (I did count them) up into the amazing Clive Exhibition, this having been Clive of India's house. After Tipi Sultan, the Mughal Emperor was killed in battle, his palace was ransacked and needless to say, the top wallah of the East India Company got the pick of the contents. . . Keith would have been in his element - so many weapons, and armour, and unusual artifacts. So, he is into training again now that he's off the anti biotics and is hopefully mending again - though he still needs to DRINKMORE! We fell out about that big time yesterday - why can't he just say, I'll try to drink more? Nope, every time I get the reply, "I drink plenty/enough" Arrrrrrrrrrgh!!
Now, the gardens. Not at their high summer best but I DID want to see the absolute fountain of Wisteria and I was not disappointed.
I think all you can say is WOW!
A big stand of Achillea just coming into flower, and Alliums going to seed, with Cranesbills linking the two.
Just part of the amazing yew "hedge" - well, it started off as a hedge, grew away and is now trees which have been clipped like clouds.
More tomorrow, this had taken me over an hour so far . . .