Category Archives: Architecture

Cawdor Castle and the Antiques Roadshow

I had been wanting to go and see Cawdor Castle for a few years, but not had the excuse to just get on with it and go until I heard that The Antiques Roadshow were going to be there!  To my knowledge, they don’t visit that many locations in Scotland, at least during each year’s filming.  I do love watching other people’s treasures – especially family stories.

We decided we didn’t really have anything we wanted valued, so packed ourselves off to the station to get the train to Nairn, outside of Inverness – which is the closest to Cawdor and the castle.  For June it wasn’t really warm and the weather was pretty atrocious, as was the non-existent bus service available to Cawdor, but hey-ho we got there and immediately loved the castle and gardens.

The castle is beautiful, and reminded me a little of Fraser, the rooms are also really comfortable looking – which is much in keeping with the fact that it is still a family home.  Enjoyed some of the paintings too – especially the portraits which were over the front desk where you show your tickets.  Had a nice wander around the shop to get my obligatory guide book, and to read more about the tree preserved within the castle itself…

Time for a final wander around the gardens (loved the roses) and to take some pictures and generally people watch the visitors and spot AR experts!  This is when I spotted this before we left:

Cawdor

Right in the centre you’ll spot the presenter Fiona Bruce!  It was nice to see her, if only at a distance.  The programme I believe is scheduled for the end of 2012, early 2013.

And I didn’t even manage to mention THAT Scottish play in this post!

*UPDATE The programme has now been shown.  You can see a clip here.

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Filed under Antique, Architecture, Art, History, Places to go, TV

Afternoon Tea at Lickleyhead Castle

On a rare open day, the Mum and I went to visit the privately owned Lickleyhead Castle.

Included was afternoon tea too!  We really enjoyed ourselves on the quick castle tour (mostly modern decoration) and our lovely sit down tea.  Good chance to chat to other interested folks too.

Hope they do it again next year!

 

Lickleyhead Castle

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Books I’ve Been Lusting After Lately

Some brand new, some fairly new ones here:

  • English Country Houses Interiors by Jeremy Musson

I love any books by Musson.

  • Bergere, Poke and Cottage: Understanding Early Nineteenth Century Headwear by Serena Dyer

I am really in need of some good hat books!

  • The Late King’s Goods by Jeremy Brotton

Charles I’s art collection was amazing. I know a little about what was recovered, but not enough…

  • Spas, Wells & Pleasure Gardens of London by James Stevens Curl

I have his book on the Victorian way of death – and:

  • Vauxhall Gardens by David E. Coke

I’ve always been fascinated by the pleasure gardens, as so little of them survives.

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Filed under Architecture, Art, Books, Costume, History

City Graveyard Wanderings

I have been over the Summer wandering around some city graveyards during my lunch – the largest of which is St Peter’s Cemetery, Aberdeen.

This is a massive cemetery on King Street, and has graves from the Eighteenth Century, but the majority are Victorian.  There’s some great monuments and carvings, I especially like that many occupations are included and the Scottish tradition of including women’s maiden names.  Very handy if you’re a genealogist.

I took some pictures of some of the more unusual monuments (there were A LOT of broken shaft style ones, must have been a buy one get one free offer!) but the most intriguing one, is below.  Read the top part carefully…

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Filed under Architecture, Genealogy, History, Photos

The Cowdray Park Sale

This sale is certainly interesting to me for a number of reasons historically and art-wise, but not least because the contents of Dunecht House are included in the sale.

Cowdray Park, when I last heard is also up for sale, but this September sale is the contents of both the houses.  From pictures to light fittings, furniture to carpets – though officially it is classed as an art sale.

The sale is from the 13-15 September 2011, and you can view an e-catalogue, listings or buy the catalogue online from Christie’s.  You may even be able to bid online should you wish to.

Cowdray Park Sale: Works of Art from Cowdray Park and Dunecht House – at Cowdray Park, West Sussex.

Hmm, to buy or not to buy a catalogue…

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Filed under Antique, Architecture, Art, History

The (More Than) Six Month Book Haul

Two things I love – hunting for interesting things in junk/collectible/antique shops and finding history/art books.  So, in over six months, I have hunted down the following lovelies that I have been looking for for a while:

  • Mark Girouard, Life in the English Country House & The Victorian Country House
  • Stella Tillyard, Citizen Lord (First edition!)
  • Eugenie Fraser, The House by the Dvina & A Home by the Hooghly
  • Colin Thompson, Pictures for Scotland: National Gallery of Scotland and its Collection
  • Christy Bing, The Lairds of Arbuthnott
  • Richard Taylor, How to Read Churches
  • Alison Weir, Katherine Swynford
  • Ronald Pearsall, Table-Rappers: The Victorians and the Occult
  • Leonardo da Vinci 1989 Exhibition Catalogue
  • Margaret Whinney, English Sculpture 1720-1830
  • Jan Marsh, The Venetian Empire
  • Titian Exhibition Catalogue
  • Paintings from the Royal Collection
  • The Edwardian Country House
  • Plumb and Wheldon, Royal Heritage
  • Marghanita Laski, Jane Austen and Her World
  • Phyllis Bentley, The Brontes and Their World
  • Arthur Foss, Country House Treasures
  • Susan Lasdun, Victorians at Home
  • Duchess of Devonshire, Chatsworth the House

That’s without the novels of course!

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New Castle Purchase?

Since I haven’t managed to set up my property empire yet with either Tillycairn or Midmar Castles, how about Blair Castle, Ayrshire instead?

Any takers?  It looks lovely inside…and it’s only 8 million.

Blair Castle, Ayrshire

Article about sale of Blair Castle

See posts – Anyone Want to Buy a Castle With Me?, How About This One Then? and Time For a New Castle, I Think for the previous castles for sale.

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Filed under Architecture, BlahBlahBlah, History

Virtual Tours

The National Trust for Scotland I discovered recently has been putting online some virtual tours of their properties.  The particular reason I noticed is that they did one for the view from the top of the tower at the castle.

They are well worth checking out and having a play with – personally I tend to make myself a bit dizzy spinning the camera views around!

Another great reason for viewing is if you wouldn’t otherwise be able to visit personally.

You can view them all here – Virtual Visits.  But my favourites are:

Castle Fraser

Craigievar Castle

Drum Castle

The House of Dun

I’m off to check out Falkland Palace next!  Have fun…

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Filed under Architecture, Art, Internet, Places to go

Help Save Hartlebury Castle

Can you help Hartlebury?

I’ve been meaning to talk about Hartlebury Castle, Worcestershire for a while.  Not heard of Hartlebury before?  Well, if you’re a fan of historic buildings that you should find out more about it now!

The Hartlebury Castle Preservation Trust was formed to save the house for the benefit of the nation, and the house is known currently for – of course – the house, the gardens and for its library.  At the moment money is being raised to purchase it from its current owners, the Church Commissioners in order to restore it, and allow it to be used for all manner of activities for people to enjoy.

But, as they often say in adverts, that’s not all – once the castle has been successfully purchased, volunteers will also be needed!

Why not pop over to their website, and see if you can help?  You can also follow their progress on Twitter.

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Filed under Architecture, Art, History, Places to go

Field Trips Galore!

Just a quick hello, to thank everyone who has supported me with my study and exams recently – I passed with flying colours!

I am now doing several more History of Art and Scottish History courses.  I thought my regular readers might enjoy hearing about the Field Trips I am doing for the History of Art one.

Every other week, after a lecture on the topic, we take the field trips.  We visited/are visiting the following places:

It’s amazing to get to go out and experience art first hand, and I’d really missed this during my course last term.  Though it’s nice to read books and look at pictures, nothing compares to the real thing – so make sure you get out there and experience some art near you very soon!

I’ve enjoyed all my visits, but I loved the galleries in Edinburgh, and so nice to be able to catch the Young Vermeer exhibition before it finished.  I’ve just recently finished reading The Girl With a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier, so it was a funny coincidence too!

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Filed under Architecture, Art, Exhibitions, Places to go