Saturday, February 18, 2006

Steves World Of Wonders...

Last sunday we went to visit Muncaster Castle at Ravensglass in Cumbria, Dominating the River Esk, Muncaster has been of strategic importance since Roman times, and has been home to the Penningtons since 1208.
The pele tower stands on Roman foundations and was extended through the ages into the Castle of today.

In 1862 the fashionable architect Anthony Salvin was engaged by the fourth Lord Muncaster to rebuild the house. Salvin took the courtyard, built by the first Lord Muncaster, and converted it into the present drawing room. The pele tower at the SW end was matched by Salvin with the NW tower. He did a good job, with towers, battlements and mullioned and transomed windows.

In 1208 the land was granted to the Pennington family, and it is still their home, probably only due to the magical 'Luck of Muncaster', a glass drinking bowl belonging to Henry VI. He gave it to the family in 1464 declaring that as long as it remained intact, Penningtons would live and thrive at Muncaster.

A tour of the house may be made with audio commentary, narrated by Patrick Gordon-Duff-Pennington, the present owner, describing what can be seen in the Great Hall, the Library, the Dining Room, the Drawing Room and the Bedrooms.

At this point i started to take some photographs when a very solemn looking lady came up to me and said "is that a camera", i said "durgh, course it is" to which she replied "You cant take pictures in here!!" "never mind" i said "i have all the shots i need" and marched off to the next room in which was another lady sat next to a roaring fire we were listening away to the audio commentary when the lady by the fire asked Edward yes!! Edward to put another log on the fire Claire just looked at the woman and said "i don't think so, he is only six after all" we then went to a room that housed the biggest collection of toy soldiers i have ever seen they were all hand made by a russian gentleman who lived locally the attention to detail was fantastic.

Spring and early summer bring a riot of colour to the 77 acres of woodland gardens where the rhododendrons, camellias and azaleas are at their best. Summer flowering herbaceous plants and autumn fruiting trees and shrubs will provide colour throughout the seasons. The Terrace Walk, described by John Ruskin as 'The Gateway to Paradise', offers spectacular views of the Eskdale Valley and the Lakeland fells, with their constantly changing moods. A specimen of Nothofagus obliqua is the tallest example in Britain.

Edward decided to be the leader of our trek along the Terrace Walk and led us along tree lined paths which were quite slippery as it was a very wet day as we walked on we saw Herons landing in the trees an awesome sight, then as we went on edward had actually led us into an area which was out of bounds at the moment due to some fallen trees blocking the footpaths next we found orselves at the Meadow Vole Maze where you can imagine being a meadow vole, just two and a half inches tall, living in meadowland, where danger lurks at every turn. In the Meadow Vole Maze the secret world of wildlife makes a wild experience. You may meet Max Meadowvole, who will help you get home safely. As soon as we entered the maze Edward went rigid with fear and started saying "I want to go home!" but there was a problem the ony exit was to complete the maze and answer wildlife questions along the way we answered them all correctly and Edward got a lolipop as a prize which cheered him up no end.

we finished our visit by looking around the Owl sanctuary but here again Edward was a little scared (i think the maze experience finished him off) so just a quick look at all the owls and then it was off back to Barber Green for some well earned tucker.
hope you found this interesting and see you soon


Anonymous said...

you forgot to say that it rained all bay till the time we got to the exit

Anonymous said...

rained in England surely not why should that damper the spirit sounds like you had a blast Lisa xx