Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Some more Castle Drogo

Today I have some more from the inside of Castle Drogo to share with you.  You can read a bit about the renovation work that is happening to the Castle at the moment in my previous post here.

As you make your way inside it is very dark because of all the scaffolding and boarding that is up on the outside.  This means that the lights are on and you can see that they really do fit the Castle theme don't they.  Almost medieval looking, but with that arts and crafts twist that the Castle is all about.

None of the rooms are displayed as you would have seen them before the renovations started, or as you might normally expect to see a historic house.  Instead, some of the rooms have things packed away and you can see how things are stored.  Other rooms have art installations in them.

I tried to get photos of the artworks, but it was difficult as it seemed that they were mostly in the darkest rooms so getting good photos wasn't always possible.

The piece above tells the story of Julius Drewe who had Castle Drogo built.

Some of the collection from the house is still visible, such as this incredible leather panelled screen you see above.  In other rooms things are boxed away, wrapped up and stored as safely as possible.

Occasionally you could get a glimpse of some daylight coming in to highlight the incredible architecture of the building.

This room was a mix of storage and an artwork which I have to confess that I didn't really understand.  It is interesting to see though how things are covered and stored.  Underneath many of the fabric covers there will be a layer of tissue paper.  The tissue is there because it makes a noise if you rub against it or back into it and it reminds you to be careful.

Then we moved to a display that I found particularly interesting.

This incredible and very rare tapestry called The Char de Triomphe Armorial Tapestry is back at the castle after 6 years of conservation, you can see the tapestry in the Dining Room from the front and back.

This is the back of the tapestry.  This surely gives hope to all of us amateur tapestry, needlepoint and cross stitch makers!  It was fascinating to be able to see both sides of the tapestry as this isn't something that you can normally do.  I think that I spent more time looking at the back than the front.

There was also a very interesting display about making and dyeing threads and how to make the dye, what materials could be used and so on.

You can also read this great explanation of the difference between tapestry and needlepoint.  So although I call what I make tapestry, it is in fact needlepoint!

We then moved on to a corridor where there were many metal pieces displayed in the fashion of art works.  These Jelly Moulds in the picture below look like hats on stands to me!

There are some incredible dolls houses in the Castle and you could see inside this one.  Aren't the rooms wonderful!

I loved how they appeared to be in disarray, rather like the Castle at the moment.

Then we went to the Butlers Pantry where the works are all about messages.  Again, I didn't understand them, although there are explanations on display and they were interesting to look at.

This isn't an installation, this is the real room where all the fuses and wires and electrical connections for the house run to and from.  Imagine needing a whole room just for that!

Many of the art pieces reflected the dripping of the water into the Castle which is the cause of the damage which needs to be fixed.

This is a giant glass drip of water.

These next two pictures were all from The Outside In Room as per the explanation above.

I hope that I never see any property, let alone a National Trust one in this state of disrepair.  What a frightening thought that would be.

Then we headed off down the stairs and found our way out.  This is quite a staircase isn't it!

I leave you with this final picture from one of the artworks.  Says it all really!

I hope you enjoyed the visit!


Thank you all so very much for your lovely and kind comments yesterday about my shawl, I am so pleased with it and so glad that you all liked it too.  Those of you considering making it really should have a go, it is far easier to make than it looks - I promise!!!  Thank you all again!



  1. Oh my goodness what a mess! I'm sure it will be wonderful when everything is back to normal. That is a particularly good tapestry isn't it and I love the drip. x

  2. Absolutely fascinating. Thanks for this unique insight, Amy. Drogo has been on the list for awhile, but last time we were in that neck of the woods it had scaffolding all over it and we decided to leave it until the next trip west. Your tour presents it as we shall (probably) never see it!

  3. Absolutely fascinating. Thanks for this unique insight, Amy. Drogo has been on the list for awhile, but last time we were in that neck of the woods it had scaffolding all over it and we decided to leave it until the next trip west. Your tour presents it as we shall (probably) never see it!

  4. What a great place to visit, the dolls house was amazing and all those jelly moulds what a delight.

  5. I think I would have spent the most time looking at the dolls houses and the tapestry. It's an interesting description of tapestry and needlepoint, I didn't really know what either were so I've learnt something new.

  6. What a beautiful dolls house, I like how it mirrors the house in the chaos! xx

  7. Love these posts! I hope to one day get there in person to see them! Have a wonderful day!!


  8. The real castle life!!!
    love the doll house, and love the cakes tools.
    waow what a nice visit!!

  9. That photo was so disturbing, it would be a shame to lose houses like this. What a place to explore!

  10. Look absolutely Lovely!! I love castles Amy!!
    And I love these jelly moulds ! Are beautiful!!!

    (I was sick and my son too, he is better now)

  11. I wonder who gets the job to rearrange the dolls house furniture. That surely would be a fun job x

  12. Oh, I must get to dear old Drogo before it closes for the winter if only to see the doll's house. Have recently had a piece published on dolls' houses in the local paper. The most expensive real estate ever sold in Devon (for it's size, I mean!) was a doll's house!
    Margaret P

  13. There is so much fun stuff to poke through in this post! I love the dollhouse, and the fact that it needs some TLC as well. The outside is incredible ... I hope the little girls that played with it appreciated what they had. And such amazing tapestry! Beautiful pieces of work all through this castle. You'll have to visit it again when it is all put back together.

  14. It is such a beautiful castle-great photos Amy. I must go to see the tapestry-it sounds fascinating xx

  15. Such fascinating photos Amy! I love seeing these treasures of the past. Some of those hallways and staircases do look so castle like. That tapestry is amazing and I'm intrigued by the back too!! Lol

    I love the butler's pantry - like right out of Downton Abbey! ;)
    Thanks for sharing. Love it! xoxo

  16. That place is amazing.. I was fascinated with the dollhouse as I have one too. LOVED your seaglass shawl.. now you have to model it for us! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  17. How good they are restoring this castle before it is too late. That dollhouse is a treasure, as is the entire castle.


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