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!