Friday, 31 October 2014
I've mentioned the castle in our town before. It's a Tudor castle, now a luxury hotel, but every year the doors are very kindly thrown open to everyone for a fantastic Hallowe'en party. We went along.
First you pass the church and the graveyard.
The past the gatehouse.
This is the driveway, lined tonight with candlelit pumpkins. On the left beyond the lamp post are grape vines.
Then round the corner to the castle.
The building began in 1511 for Edward Stafford, the 3rd Duke of Buckingham. He was reputedly trying to impress his king, Henry VIII, so that he would pay a visit. Unfortunately for the Duke, in 1521 Henry beheaded him for treason and confiscated the castle.
In 1535 Henry and his new queen Anne Boleyn spent ten days here as part of a honeymoon tour. All of this of course makes it an excellent place for a Hallowe'en visit. There are also stories of a child ghost who has been seen on occasion, and on a dark night it's all incredibly atmospheric.
The rooms are magnificent, all enormous fireplaces, huge tapestries and suits of armour. There are spears and axes hung on the walls and portraits of long dead dukes.
In the middle there was a vintage car which was mysteriously enveloped in smoke, and a beast was being roasted. There was apple bobbing and toffee apples, a quiz trail and a carved pumpkin competition and a cauldron full of dry ice that the boys had huge fun with. I narrowly avoided stabbing myself in the throat with a toffee apple stick and the littlest boy tried leapfrogging something in the dark and failed spectacularly. We heard the slap of small boy on stone as he hit the deck. His little costume was a bit grubby, but I picked him up and dusted him down and he managed to soldier on. Sometimes he reminds me so much of me.
Through the gateway in the wall is this view and the walled gardens.
The gardens are wonderful. The sun had set by the time we arrived, so it was too gloomy to photograph well. There are beautiful yew topiary walls with arrowslit shapes cut into the tops. The children were welcome to play hide and seek and in the darkness there was plenty of squealing and jumping out at people.
It's an exquisite place, very popular for weddings because it's so photogenic, if a place can be referred to that way. One day I shall try and take some pictures there in the light, although to be honest I don't naturally blend in at luxury hotels other than under cover of darkness.
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What a lovely idea for a Halloween celebration. It looks a fascinating place. Hope you all had fun.ReplyDelete
What a fabulous place for a Halloween party. It sounds like everyone had lots of fun.ReplyDelete
I love these kind of places! I agree with the commenter above, a Halloween party there would be awesome!ReplyDelete
Ha! You would blend in splendidly! And what a place! How sad that he was beheaded! The history and whole atmosphere is just exquisite!!! What a treat for your little people to experience! A Halloween to remember I'd say! Nicole xoReplyDelete
I can't think of a better place to celebrate Halloween. It is a gorgeous castle, a bit spooky too.ReplyDelete
Stunning pictures CJ, so glad you had a great time.Hope small boy is fine.ReplyDelete
Oh my GOODNESS!! What a perfect place to visit on Halloween! You are so lucky!ReplyDelete
((hugs)), Teresa :-)
What a fantastic, atmospheric place for a Hallowe'en party. I think the illuminated suit of armour in the doorway looks particularly spooky. I bet the walk through the graveyard on the way back in the dark was fun! xReplyDelete
That looks a great place to be at Halloween. I love castles, that one looks brilliant. I hope the littlest boy is alright after the leapfrog accident. We had Halloween mishaps here, small daughter nosediving off a chair whilst trying to eat ring doughnuts suspended from a badminton net with hands behind her back. Later we had sweets all over the road after balancing the bucket on a broomstick! All good fun eh?ReplyDelete
So much better than banging on doors for 'candy'. I'm not sure I'd fancy staying the night there, though - it sounds as though it has a well deserved spooky reputation! I think I'd have to sneak in under cover of darkness as well, although I did once manage to pass a few hours almost unnoticed in Fortnums tea rooms.ReplyDelete
Oh, that looks like my kind of place - it reminds me of Agatha Christie novels. And perfect for Halloween too! As for Henry VIII, what a nasty so-and-so he was. Although nowadays he seems a bit like a pantomime villain doesn't he?ReplyDelete
I know what you mean about luxury hotels. I'm generally more of a Travelodge girl (not by choice) but on the odd occasion I've stayed somewhere nice and historical I've discovered the simple pleasure of people-watching whilst sitting in the hotel lounge... And yes, pretending to be a Miss Marple-type character.
You can see why this doesn't quite work when staying at a Travelodge/Premier Inn type establishment.
And a lamp post straight from Narnia, The photo of the castle lit up is lovelyReplyDelete
Wow it looks wonderful! I can see why it's popular for weddings :)ReplyDelete
I see a lot of me in Alfie. It's also why we clash so much I think. Your castle is a great place for a spooky party. And I'm sure you'd fit right in in daylight. XxReplyDelete
I'm not a Hallowen fan but I did enjoy this post and the wonderful pictures. xxReplyDelete
Enjoyed these two atmospheric posts! What amazing places to visit. I would have loved being with you.ReplyDelete
they are impressive! I imagine how it was used at time, the situation and atmosphere. nice pics!ReplyDelete
Looks like a wonderfully atmospheric evening, I do love this time of year! Katie xReplyDelete
There are few historical figures crazier or more terrifying that Henry VIII. That looks like a fantastic place for a Halloween party. I'm really glad you had a chance to go.ReplyDelete
Looks fab, can't beat an old castle can you!! Very atmospheric on Hallowe'en too....Great photos xReplyDelete
What an awesome time! How lucky you are to live near a piece of history like that - and you get to enjoy it. Love that last picture of the moon between the castle walls.ReplyDelete
Okay ........do your boys understand how amazing a place they live?????? Can I come live with you???? I want to spend Halloween in a spooky old castle too.ReplyDelete
What a great place to visit on Halloween! Much preferable to the guising my children did with dad or on their own (depending on the age). I manned the house with our pretend pumpkin and buckets full of sweets. The real pumpkins were sold out before I realised it was Halloween. Have a great Sunday. CxReplyDelete
Oooh sounds like a fabuolous party in a very fitting loaction! Bless your son, I hope he was ok after his fall! Have a wonderful November! xReplyDelete
Hello lovely. Oh my that looks and sounds rather fabulous for Halloween. It is such a beautiful setting and building. Hope you're keeping well and also hope your sons ok. Sending you much love xoxoReplyDelete
WOW that place is so beautiful and looks like such fun for Halloween!ReplyDelete
what a beautiful place, and such an interesting history. good for you to be able to see it (ie not just paying hotel guests!).ReplyDelete
Looks and sounds as though you had a great time. I don't blend in well in any sort of hotel really I don't think, but I definitely wouldn't blend in at a luxury hotel at any time of day! xxReplyDelete
It looks and sounds ideal for Halloween, great pics and I loved your last post for the Colour Collaborative: Puzzlewood looks amazing, you really captured the spirit of it (no pun intended). Have a great week.ReplyDelete
A really stunning location for Halloween, glad you had a lovely time. Have a super week xxReplyDelete
Yay, thank you for the tour with your great photos and narrative. I think it's wonderful they open up and do this celebration with the local community. So special.ReplyDelete
Two wonderfully atmospheric eerie posts! Thornbury Castle is on my list of castles to stay,…...much better and more fun for all at Hallow'een I think!ReplyDelete
Ooohhh...that looks brilliant and a little bit scary.ReplyDelete
I love your photos, you really captured something Halloweenish and autumnal in the fading light. What a beautiful place, especially with the windows all lit up. xReplyDelete
That is a wonderful location to celebrate Halloween! Sarah xReplyDelete