Friday, 24 July 2009
There are proper castles and fun castles. Proper castles were built to keep people out. Long range canon put paid to them. Defenses went underground. Now bombers drop Bunker Busters from 30,000 feet. Such is progress...
Fun castles weren't designed to keep people out. They were designed to be pretty and to impress the neighbours. Eastnor was built in 1810. It is the castle of children's fantasy. Crenelated towers rise above a nest of deciduous trees and giant conifers. Splashed with late evening sunlight, magic...
However not defensive.
The massive gate house is perfectly aligned to the great entrance doors. A canon shell could pass through the gate house and across the courtyard and through the doors into the vast entrance hall. Pugin designed the hall. It has everything that a castle should, suits of armour, lances, blunderbusses, African shields, assegais. Fun but not comfortable, and impossible to heat.
The owner, James Hervey-Bathurst lives in what was the servants wing.