Saturday, September 3, 2011

Castell Coch

Remember Aesop's fables? You might have heard them as a child-the Ant and the Grasshopper, the Fox and the Crow,the Fox and the Grapes, etc. Castell Coch in Wales has a beautiful interpretation of these fables on the castle's drawing room walls. (And you can stil hear the tales read in this room as a yearly tradition)

Castell Coch(English;Red Castle) is a 19th century Gothic Revival castle built on the remains of a genuine 13th-century fortification. It is situated on a steep hillside high above the village of Tongwynlais, to the north of Cardiff in Wales, and is a Grade I listed building as of 28 January 1963.-wikipedia

In 1871, John Crichton-Stuart,3rd Marquess of Bute, ordered the site to be cleared of vegetation and debris while his architect,William Burges, drew up plans for a full reconstruction. Burges and the Marquess had been working for over three years on the rebuilding of Cardiff Castle; the aim at Castel Coch was to achieve another "dazzling architectual tour de force of the High Victorian era, (a) dream-like castle which combine(d) sumptuous Gothic fantasy with timeless fairy tale.-Wikipedia

Click on the link above for a 360 panoramic view of the drawing room.

This is a detail of the singerie ceiling in Lady Bute's bedroom.
The room is "pure Burges: an arcaded circle, punched through by window embrasurs, and topped by a trefoil-sectioned dome." The decorative theme is 'love', symbolised by "monkeys, pomegranates, and nesting birds".-wikipedia

click on the link to view Lady Bute's bedroom in a panoramic view.


This is a detail of the mantle in Lord Bute's bedroom.

His Victorian  room is heavily influenced with Burge's love of geometric stenciling and gilded ornamentation.

The fact that Burges was, as described by Simon Jenkins, "an opium-addicted bachelor Gothicist who dressed in medieval costume" may have influenced his building style.(source)
Burges travels to Italy, Spain, Belgium, Germany and eventually Turkey led to his lavish wall designs and moorish influences.

The roof garden offers wonderful tiled murals with a simple animal border underneath.

Castell Coch was the realization of Burge's High Victorian Dream. Burge was able to combine the influences from his travels and fantasy of Victorian lore to create this wonderful world of ornamentation.


Karena said...

How stunning Theresa. I am amazed at the architectural details, tiles,and paintings

I always wonder at the impossible cost to replicate a space as Castell Coch

Art by Karena

Jennifer Carrasco said...

Oh Theresa.....this is so enchanting.Thankyou!

ceecee said...

That was a trippy ride. If you don't use the controls and just click onto the photo it really zooms around. I think I'm going to go put on some Hendrix. Thanks for a wonderful end to my evening.

Theresa Cheek said...

Jennifer-You are quite welcome! :)

Catherine- LOL! You make me laugh! Hendrix is always good.

Mark D. Ruffner said...

Theresa, this is a wonderful, stunning posting! I really like the style, though I would settle for just one room, and that would be the Aesop Room, or possibly the rooftop area. I look at these spaces and marvel at all the artists and artisans who would have been employed to fabricate such schemes!

My Castle in Spain said...

Hello Theresa!
how wonderful to recreate a Moorish patio on the roof! Amazing place...
Have a great sunday !
xo Lala

Parisbreakfasts said...

Simply gorgeous!
what can one say..?
Jaw on the ground in wonderment

Regina at Fauxology said...

OMG, so gorgeous! As usual, an incredible post with images and information. There is so much to absorb -- one could return many times and have endless new discoveries...

Peter Moon said...

These pics are to die for! Thanks for your research, Theresa! (I'm an Art History major too - love it!!)

Lisa Moon said...

Oops - I just commented while under my husband Peter's login!

Anyhoo... Great post, from a fellow Art History major! :)

PA74 said...

Marvellous post Theresa, thank you so much for these pictures. I had never seen anything about this place.


Anonymous said...

Thanks! As a Cardiff resident, I get to enjoy these gorgeous castles for free whenever I want, lucky me! Do you have any information on who designed/painted the Aesop's Fables room? I tried to find out online but if you don't know, I guess I could go ask a guide!

Theresa Cheek said...

William Burges was the designer for the murals...not sure if he executed them though. Thank you for visiting my blog!

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