I have been quite unwell the past week or so with a chest infection. The worse part of it is that I am having difficulty breathing which gets worse at night. As a result I have been working from home as going out makes me far worse. I did get out and about a bit over Christmas and the New Year though and one of the places I visited was Raglan Castle. I have been here a couple of times before and posted about it here and here. Being winter in the UK, the weather was not on it's best behaviour and was grey and cold and promised rain, a promise which it eventually kept. But not before I took a few photo's and the ones in this post were taken from the top of the Great Tower or keep where the views over the Monmouthshire countryside are beautiful, even on a cold grey day.
The photo above is looking across the fountain court of the castle with the Welsh hills in the distance and the one below is of the towers of the main gatehouse and the ruins of some of the living quarters including the kitchen, dining hall and library, which stand to the right of the fountain court in this view. If you enlarge the photo then you can see some of the ornate stonework that remains above one of the upper windows.
This next photo is not for the faint hearted as it is a view looking directly down from the top of the tower. With all the wooden floors and ceilings long gone after the tower was slighted during the civil war you can see right down to the cobbled ground floor. To the left of the photo you can see how thick the towers walls were as they were designed to withstand a siege and the mortars Cromwell's forces fired at the tower had little effect. After taking the castle, Cromwell ordered the tower to be slighted and this was done by undermining as it took too long to take apart by hand! In the top left of the photo you can even make out one of the castle latrines and the openings in the remaining walls are doorways, windows and large fireplaces. Seeing the castle as it is now it is difficult to imagine people actually lived here. Now pigeons seem to be the only residents.
The castle was quite moody and eerie the day we visited as we were practically the only people there. Most others I suspect being of much sounder mind than me, had stayed at home in the warm, or being of less sound mind than me were rushing around crowded shops in the sales. I know where I would rather be; after all, what's a little bit of rain?