Sunday, November 26, 2017

Hiraeth 2016: Dydd 9 - St. Fagans Welsh National History Museum, Castell Coch, Caerphilly!

We didn't travel far at all with British Expeditions to see some great places just out of Cardiff.

The first was the St. Fagans National History Museum. This should be done in a whole day. We had just a couple of hours to run between the living history exhibits of relocated or restored buildings of various periods of time. Although we did take time to visit with the docents about teapots.

This is a cock-fighting pit. Mormon Missionaries preached in these because they were such natural auditoriums
and they generally weren't welcome in churches or chapels.
We visited the row of houses refurbished in different periods of time. They were similar but more complete than the exhibits at Blaenavon. I missed a pic of the 20th century plumbed bathtub in the kitchen, but we were interested in the 1840s.

Early Victorian dining.
Early Victorian Kitchen. And, yes, He does.
There was a toll gate and house like those destroyed in the Rebecca Riots.

Aberystwyth South Toll Gate and House.
And a tailor's shop from the late Victorian era when we wanted to see one from 1789 for one of our less illustrious ancestors.

Late Victorian tailor's shop
There was a recreation of a medieval church before the religious wars broke out. The walls were covered with amazing religious paintings which helped tell the Bible stories to an illiterate congregation.

Angel lit by natural light of window.
Then we visited the summer home of the Bute Family, Castell Coch, on the first hills out of Cardiff.

This was built in the 19th Century on the ruins of an original medieval castle. The design and interior decoration was accurate in recreating medieval style, but no royal palace in ancient times could have afforded all the flourishes:

Celestial Ceiling
A bedroom fit for an Industrial Age Princess of vast wealth.
Castell Coch towers surrounding the courtyard. This has also been a setting for Doctor Who.
I am in love with Caerphilly (Caerffili) Castle! It is everything that I imagined a castle would be and on a hugely grand scale! I had no idea such a thing still existed in the world. 

Much credit goes to John Crichton-Stuart, the Fourth Marquess of Bute, who, as sometimes happens in later generations of noblesse oblige, used his family wealth as a work project during the Great Depression to restore much of the castle. The out-of-work coal miners and iron men of Caerphilly town had an opportunity to restore dignity to self and heritage.

The setting: In the middle of a lake!
Caerphilly's leaning tower on the left. Another, "thanks a lot Cromwell for blowing up our castle."
The restored Great Hall with a Mab Cymru
Long may she wave on the High Tower at Caerphilly!
I want this stairway in my house! (I'm already in love with the beautiful Lady!)
Word has it that in the last year more dragons have come to Caerphilly.
My wife, the Physics Teacher and Cub Scout Leader, wanted pictures of the trebuchet.
It worries me a little.
Geese, ducks, and swans enjoy the Caerphilly moat and lake.
Caerphilly has also been used for filming Doctor Who. In fact, just last season, the Doctor was digging on the grounds with medieval peasants.
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