Storming a Castle
Hi, Eve Pendle here. I write historical romance and in my bio I often include that I have National Trust membership. Brits will understand immediately what that means, and if you’ve been to the UK sightseeing, you might have an inkling too. National Trust membership just means that I’m a massive history nerd.
The National Trust is a charity that protects and curates history and wild spaces for the next generation. It was founded in 1895 by Octavia Hill (who is well worth googling, she was a proper Victorian social reformer/do-gooder). Their principle is to protect important spaces ‘for ever, for everyone’. So what does a visit to a National Trust site feel like? I went to Chirk Castle in North Wales to show you.
Mr. Pendle and I visited with our dog, so the first order of the day was coffee from the famously good NT café. Mm coffee. Then we got a peek of the castle on our way to stretch pooch’s legs (and ours) on a signposted walk around the grounds.
On the walk there was this very old, very large sweet chestnut tree:
This tree was here when Henry VIII (of six wives fame) was alive, some 500 years ago.
We walked through the woods and out into the Capability Brown style park. Isn’t it lovely? Soothing.
Yes, except the cows got a bit curious… Yeak!
So from there we cut around into the formal garden. There was this marvellous specimen:
<Fans self> No fig leaves here!
And this stunning view of the castle itself. NT are really good at providing a bit of information for visitors, and here’s a board about what the castle would have looked like in the 18thCentury. Not much change, eh?
From there, I left Mr. Pendle and Pooch Pendle enjoying the sunshine (no dogs inside the house).
The inner courtyard was so pretty. And then there was the inside. Room after room of plush furnishings and some oddities.
These weapons and armour are from the English civil war, and probably are original (note – kept well out of reach!). And the dark wood panelling is classic for many old houses in the UK.
Some rooms were more comfortable though. Do you fancy relaxing in this drawing room?
Or reading in this library?
Or you might like to snuggle up near this fireplace when it’s lit. Which room would you like to hang out in? Or would you rather walk outside in the (rare) Welsh sun? I decided I would take advantage of the weather and go back into the garden. J
So there you go, a quick tour of a National Trust property. And there are hundreds of these sorts of places to visit across the whole UK.
If you want to see more come over to twitter, where you’ll find me @evependle, and you’ll see photos and squee from more of my visits and a little bit of history and English geek-ness. My debut historical romance with Entangled has lots of historical details gathered from my visits to NT properties. So if you loved seeing this little slice of life in the past, you might just love Six Weeks with a Lord.
Grace Alnott is out of time. To save her younger brother from an abusive guardian, her merchant father’s will demands she must marry a peer. Handsome but destitute Everett Hetherington, Earl of Westbury agrees to her offer of a marriage of convenience but stipulates she must live with him for six weeks. No matter how honorable he seems she can’t allow him to get too close, because the aristocracy cannot be trusted.
Six weeks. Major Everett Hetherington, new Earl of Westbury, has exactly six weeks to convince the very independent Grace Alnott to spend the rest of her life with him. Despite her belief she doesn’t belong in his world, he must tempt the alluring Grace into staying, because he has fallen for her. Hard. He just has to ensure she never discovers his secret.
Eve writes snarky, angsty and passionate historical romance. She loves dresses, chocolate, equality, liberty, her husband, her dog and her cat (not necessarily in that order). You can chat with Eve on twitter and get a free sexy story from her website, evependle.com.