Day out: Raglan Castle

14 Nov

This is the castle we ‘swung by’ on the way home from our visit to the National Roman Legion Museum.  Unless you have a special connection to this spot or are a massive Merlin fan (or Time Bandits,  or — unreliable sources tell me — Skyrim — or Dr. Who fans who can travel back in time), this spot is probably not a day out all on its own — but it is a great book-end for a day on the Welsh border.

Raglan Castle is a Cadw site — so bring along your English Heritage passes and get in for half price (or free, depending on how long you’ve been a member).  The Castle was built late, and benefitted from the political wheeling and dealing of the typically ambitious border family who lived here.  Here’s some background.  We have a Norman invader whose descendants supported the English against the Welsh (and fought with Henry V at Agincourt, huzzah) and then a later family who supported the Yorkists (insert obligatory fist shake at sky) and then fought Cromwell and then gave up and left the place in ruins.  I think that sums it up.

Except for the incredible romance and drama of the castle ruins.  Holy Meatballs!  It’s amazing!

Picture me going into a fantasy world coma.  Picture the kids running and splashing in the puddles.

You can get a sense of the wealth of this family and the luxuriousness of the castle — just count the storeys — and the number of fireplaces!

The octagonal shape of the towers are said to mimic the more ancient Caernarfon in north west Wales.

I have the overwhelming urge to cross-stitch this image with “Home Sweet Home” across the top.

One view of the Great Tower, the castle-within-a-castle I mentioned in an earlier post.

A more dramatic view, from the other side.  Easy to see why Raglan would be used as a film location — walk three paces in any direction, and you seem to be in a totally different environment.  The ruins glow and gleam, there are reaching shadows, twisting stairs, wide grassy courts, grand stairs, and windows and views for miles.

And toilets.  Never forget the toilets.  We crossed the drawbridge to the Grand Tower, and while I swooned over the watery stairs to the moat, what did my children find and exclaim over, immediately, loudly, and repeated?  The toilet.

We did manage to climb the stairs and admire the view.

See, on top of that other tower, over on the right?  Do you see the people climbing over and around the walls and rocks over there?  They are insane.

We arrived at Raglan about an hour and a half before it closed, and didn’t feel rushed in our walkabout.  If your interest is pricked by these quick shots of our day out, check this out for a far more detailed tour and history.

Advertisements

8 Responses to “Day out: Raglan Castle”

  1. Sarah November 14, 2012 at 12:19 pm #

    DEFINITELY making a trip to this one. Definitely. And those toilets, I love imagining them without those health and safety bars. Perhaps the holes were a bit smaller, but I like to imagine they weren’t *that* much smaller, and I think about how different things are. Kids back then didn’t eff around with their little brothers in the toilet because THEY MIGHT FALL IN. (Is that where the phrase “don’t fall in!” came from??) Well, and nowadays we have those nice porcelain things to perch upon. But seriously, what an amazing looking place. Thank you for this blog, Monique. I just love, love, love ya!

    • Monique November 15, 2012 at 9:23 pm #

      Son delights in telling stories of murder-via-toilet. Oh, Horrible Histories, who knew excrement and death could be so much fun?

      Always such a joy to hear from you — mwah!

  2. Carla November 14, 2012 at 12:52 pm #

    Gorgeous! I want to splash in the puddles too! (After my fantasy world coma, of course.) Amazing castle! Fabulous photos! MORE Exclamation points!!!

    • Monique November 15, 2012 at 9:26 pm #

      MOST EXCELLENT!!!!!!!

  3. katie November 14, 2012 at 2:13 pm #

    I love ruins! And those are amazing. That second picture with the sun and the window… so pretty! And the one below it… and all those fireplaces! I wish I had my own TARDIS, (except I’d just go there right now while it’s ruins which would probably defeat the purpose of a TARDIS).

    • Monique November 15, 2012 at 9:27 pm #

      Thanks! We only stopped by because Raglan was on the way home, and it was so worth the visit. Beautiful spot.

  4. satnavandcider February 26, 2013 at 6:11 pm #

    Excellent photos and narrative! If the visit isn’t worth its own trip, you’ve got me fooled. It looks like a great destination.

    As for those insane people, they look a lot like pigeons (unless I’m missing something?).

    • Monique March 2, 2013 at 8:37 pm #

      My goodness, you are correct. I know there were people crawling around in dangerous places while we were there, but those are certainly pigeons! The height must have scrambled my visual acuity.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: