Thursday, 5 April 2012

E is for Eastnor Castle, Herefordshire

Eastnor Castle is a huge pile of towers, which could be a Norman and Gothic castle; but Eastnor is a mock castle dating only from the beginning of the 19th century. 
Eastnor Castle - aerial view

It was founded by the 1st Earl of Somers as his stately home and continues to be inhabited by his descendants.  This year celebrates the 200th anniversary of the Castle, whose location is amongst the dramatic setting of the Malvern Hills.

Eastnor Castle circa 1880
The Earl instructed Sir Robert Smirke to build the castle probably to demonstrate the antiquity of the owner’s lineage! 

This may have been one of Smirke’s earlier works, but he was to go on and prove his architectural prowess with the building of the main block and facade of the British Museum – with its great Ionic colonnades.

At Eastnor the central room is the great hall, sixty feet high, while another room was decorated by Pugin in mid-19th century Gothic style.  

Pugin is best remembered for the interior design of the “Big Ben” clock tower of the Palace of Westminster.

Cleaning the Great Hall (17m) sixty feet high - per Eastnor Castle's blog

The setting of the house is on land purchased by Earl Somers, which over the years was added to through propitious marriages – providing the wherewithal to design and build the lookalike medieval castle guarding the Welsh borders.

Rope Walk Bridge
c/o Eastnor's blog
Oscar Wilde’s “The Canterville Ghost” was filmed at Eastnor in 1986, and has offered many other backdrops for films, music events and tv.  

The grounds are the location of the Land Rover vehicle test track, with the off-road circuits providing some of the most challenging all-terrain driving experiences in the UK.

Eastnor, despite being a family home, is also open for weddings, corporate entertainment, all set within the beautiful deer park, arboretum and lake.

A sumptious bedroom at Eastnor

That is E for Eastnor Castle – the mock castellated mansion built between 1812 – 1820, which has magnificent collections of armour, tapestries and paintings, set amongst wonderful grounds ...  part of the ABC series Aspects of British Castles

Yesterday Bob Scotney posted about Dunluce Castle's Pontytailed Phantom 

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories


Bob Scotney said...

Another castle to add to my database. Pleased to see we were different again Hilary, although you managed to get in a ghostly reference too.

Patsy said...

I've not been there but it looks well worth a visit.


One I haven't been to but you're guided tour was great.

Thanks for the visits Yesterday much appreciated.


One I haven't been to but you're guided tour was great.

Thanks for the visits Yesterday much appreciated.

Lynn said...

I think I saw that film The Cantorville Ghost - off to look that up. Lovely E post, Hilary!

Old Kitty said...

I'd have my wedding there if I could - it looks AMAZING and so sumptuous and I do like that scary rope bridge!! Take care

Unknown said...

Looks lovely! What a great theme for a-z :-)

Luanne G. Smith said...

That bedroom is fabulous. So grand. Edinburgh castle was impressive, but I love learning about the lesser known places too. :)

MorningAJ said...

I thought I'd seen a lot of castles until I started reading your A-Z. This is another I have to put on my 'to view' list!

Jo said...

Didn't know there were any modern castles in the UK. You're doing a great job Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Bob .. gosh have you got a database of castles .. and yes - we're different - I put in the ghostly reference for one or two, as someone commented they hoped I'd be saying which ones were haunted - I expect they all are actually.

@ Patsy - good to see you ..

@ Yvonne - it looks a lovely place to have a wander around ..

@ Lynn - I'm sure the film is shown quite often at Christmas - thanks

@ Old Kitty - a few wedding venues to chose from .. the family have youngsters still .. so the rope bridge and walk caters to them too ..

@ American in Norway - hope to see you back .. thanks so much

@ Luanna - the present owner's wife is an interior decorator - so they've got the in-house knowledge to get the furnishings et al correctly appropriate.

Delighted Edinburgh met your expectations - I went years and years ago to the Tattoo .. and regret to say I can't remember much! Glad you're enjoying the other castles ...

@ Anne - there are masses of them .. Bob even has a data base of castles .. my few are keeping me occupied!!

Thanks so much everyone for visiting and more importantly commenting .. see you all soon .. Hilary

Rosalind Adam said...

I didn't realise there were so many castles in this country. We've driven past Malvern many times but I've never seen it. Looks amazing.

Denise Covey said...

Hey Hilary these days are flying by so fast I missed the train to Dover yesterday. Just read it now along with today's post. Loving this series.


Unknown said...

It's really beautiful even though it's relatively new. Thanks for another wonderful post. Just look at that bed!

Unknown said...

I love castles, and especially like hearing about the haunted stories that some have linked to them.

Stopping by via the A - Z challenge link up. I am following you through GFC.

Feel free to stop by my blog at (my combined b-d post)

Debra Harris-Johnson said...

Yes, I agree I love castles. So mysterious and grand. Your pictures are awesome. Great theme and posts. I'll be back.

DL Hammons said...

I love a good castle (even the TV show), and this one is a beaut! :)

DL Hammons @ Cruising Altitude 2.0
Co-Host of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Jo .. just trying to cover the bases! Castles of all sorts - everywhere!

@ Ros .. well a place to visit perhaps next time you go past Malvern .. even for a walk in the park ..

@ Denise - trying to catch any train now will be very A - Z challenging!! I'm way behind ..

@ Clarissa - being designed by Smirke must have helped - the British Museum is an amazing pile! As you say 'look at that bed' .. it must be wonderful to behold ..

@ Debbie - Bob seems to be posting about haunted castles .. so hope you get over to catch up with him ..

@ Debra - glad you're enjoying the posts and stories behind the castles .. and the photos ..

@ DL - is there a tv show called "The Castle" .. must be American? Good to see you Mr Co-host!!

Thanks everyone .. now I'm off to my Reader .. see you soon I hope!

Cheers Hilary

Robyn Campbell said...

Look at that bed! We have a castle over here that has beds that are so enormous and beautiful. It's called Biltmore House. Ever heard of it? I live near there.

And Hilary, The Canterville Ghost is fantastic! This castle is so elegant!

Tracy said...

Can you really imagine living in something like that? While it is so beautiful, it also seems so cold. Perhaps my little house suits me just fine!
Great E word and nice to meet you!

Susan Scheid said...

I remember my first trips to England and Europe, how much older the older buildings were than those we revere here as old. In comparison with what you have, everything here is "mock." Eastnor would probably be on the older side of that!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Robyn .. no I hadn't heard of Biltmore House .. but looked it up - owned by the Vanderbilts to this day .. and built by them originally - impressive place to say the least!

The Canterville Ghost is one wonderful story, I so agree - the present building/castle looks fabulous doesn't it ..

@ Tracy - no I can't .. but I'm sure they've got heating now!! Cozy log fires and big armchairs?! But again our little places are a lot cheaper and easier to run .. but perhaps not as exciting?! Oh well - we can't have it all can we ..

Tracy - thanks for coming by and commenting ..

@ Susan - yes I remember visiting the States and everyone say how old it all was .. and me thinking = no it's very modern. Oh well .. at least you pop over to visit the little old land at times!! Eastnor in the States would as you say be considered old .. whereas here - it's nearly new!

Cheers Robyn, Tracy and Susan - thank you for coming by .. Hilary

Anonymous said...

Interesting post. I bet a wedding there would be quite grand.


Anonymous said...

More castles! I've seen a few blogs with castles as a theme. I do like castles. I can see why many movies are filmed in castles. Must be very expensive to upkeep these though.

Nicole said...

What a beauty to read about! I LOVE learning about castles just as much as I love looking at pictures of them. I used to save old wall calendars that had photos of castles in them...until I had to throw them away because my room became a big ol' mess of stuff!

Thank goodness for the internet and other people's castle photos :)

To this day, I've never visited one but by golly I do sure plan to stay in one...or a few, before I leave this earth!


Blog: The Madlab Post
@MadlabPost on Twitter

Karen Lange said...

Oh how wonderful, Hilary! Thanks so much for sharing this info and photos. I need a vacation, and I feel as though I took a mini one now! :) Have a lovely weekend!

A Lady's Life said...

They are beautiful but I also always think how hard it must be to clean such high ceilings I can't even begin to imagine the fortune one has to spend to hire people. lol

Golden Eagle said...

It looks like a beautiful place! And wow, that room is elaborate.

klahanie said...

Hi Hilary,
I'm sorry I've been unable to comment everyday. I have been trying to leave my much loved comments on several blogs that are involved in this challenge..
I knew you would come up with yet another highly informative article on your alphabetical theme on castles.
However, I'm puzzled why one would 'mock' a castle. Ignore me :)
Cheers and what the 'F' is next?

Chuck said...

I love castles. I can say that without ever having been to one. The sheer size and the effort that had to go into them during construction (in a non-modern age) is just amazing to me. Your posts this month are going to end up making me travel, I think.

Manzanita said...

Pugin must have lived heights.
That bedroom with the Moroccan feeling is interesting. Another high ceiling that probably swallowed the words spoken there. One way to keep a secret.

Lisa said...

Wouldn't it be awesome to hold a wedding there.

Ron Easton for Dads UnLimited said...

Any castles we have in Canada are definitely modern ones, so to see some of the ones you're presenting, even this one which would be old in Canada, they are just great. Have a great April!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Susanne - I'm sure a wedding at Eastnor would be wonderful .. somewhat expensive though! However lots of dreams could be satisfied .. racing track arrival, parkland wedding, medieval honeymoon night etc etc ..

@ Stephen - yes - more castles here .. I must hunt out the other A-Z Castle posting challengers - a ghost hunt?! To raise funds many Castles are looking at different ways to realise extra income ... movies and weddings being two ..

@ Nicole - welcome and good to meet you .. I loved old calendars, so I can understand your dilemma!

Glad you enjoyed this castle though - and your dream sounds a distinct possibility ... more and more castles are being opened up for overnight visitors.

@ Karen - well that's good news .. and certainly a cheap way to have a break! Many thanks -

@ A Lady's Life .. as we can see here - with the cherry picker at work! It's the care which most of these artefacts, works of art, tapestries, wall hangings etc need to be treated ... it's very interesting watching 'house/ castle/ possessions' being cared for - often over the winter months. That's a post on its own at least!

@ Golden - how right you are .. the bedroom looks just wonderful - too good to sleep in!

@ Gary - sorry about your commenting problems .. I've run out of time to get round. But appreciate your thought ..

Ah - yes mock a castle .. there are a few mocked castles .. and todays gee word ..well you can now see ...

@ Chuck - their workmanship 1,200 - 100 years ago seems to be better than ours of today?! Quite amazing the structures that were built -

Excellent if you can get over here to see the Castles .. the trigger to set you roaming the UK?!

@ Manzanita - the architects and artists of the day with the vision they had for wonderful spaces is as you say absolutely amazing. Pugin is a fascinating character .. I'd love to write about him ...

I love your realistic fantasy of words spoken (in love, lust, secrecy, trickery and traitorship) drifting slowly to settle on the roof - if the roof could talk!

@ Lisa - Eastnor as a wedding setting does look extraordinary doesn't it ..

@ Ron - you've some pretty impressive buildings - often built by Scottish stonemasons .. but they're not Castles or 'old' compared to those here or in Europe ..

Thanks everyone - have a very blessed and peaceful Easter, amongst the challenging challenge!!

Happy and Compassionate days .. Hilary

Unknown said...

I love the aerial view of the castle. It is stunning.


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Stacey .. thanks so much for commenting .. good to see you.

The setting of the castle in the parkland is amazing isn't it .. and like you I enjoy the aerial views ..

Cheers and have a happy weekend -Hilary

Davina said...

Hi Hilary.

I've been reading through your castle posts and with me being a lover of castles, well, I'm enjoying that you have been finding one for each letter of the alphabet.

This one in particular has stood out for me. I'm thinking the setting is what has done it. I love how it's surrounded by so much greenery.

I've been an extra in a few movies and as you can guess, I would have been pretty excited to have been an extra in any movies filmed here. I've always dreamed of touring castles. Thank you for bringing them closer :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Davina .. lovely to see you - and glad you're enjoying them so far .. the setting must be amazing .. as you say surrounded by so much greenery and the lake. They seem to have refurbished the 'mock castle' quite splendidly ..

You - an extra .. I'd love to do that one day .. they do quite a lot of filming round here - on the seafront, and up on the Downs over Beachy Head .. perhaps I'd get bored waiting around!! Would love to know more about it from you ..

Glad you feel you're having a tour around ..

Cheers Hilary