I know what you are all going to say. This is not a castle so why is it called a castle? Easy really, the Earls of Plymouth built this Elizabethan mansion on the site of an earlier Norman castle. Being the aristocracy, if they’d called it St Fagans Old People’s Home then we’d have had to go along with them – or have our heads chopped off. However, it is truly an amazing example of Victoriana these days. Although built in the sixteenth century it has been adapted over the years to suit the times. The interior is typical of the late nineteeth century, dark and brooding, tall paintings, small rooms most with fireplaces, heavy furnishings – flower decorated chairs and tables with better looking legs than a lot of women I know. The walls are covered in thick wallpaper, a lot showing scenes of the countryside, dark paint on woodworks, and scenic tapestries. Unfortunately I was not allowed to take photographs of the interior, probably because flashing lights would damage the artifacts. Still, there are plenty of photos on their website at the above link.
But it is not only the manor house itself that is the draw, the grounds comprise fishponds, small lakes, a wonderful variety of styled gardens – the Italian Garden and the Rosery are the very popular formal gardens, amongst others. There are also the kitchen gardens where most of the provender for the earl’s table was grown.