I was navigating, but on some instinct Gregor decided to drive past the minor left turn indicated by the SATNAV and proceeded somewhat further down the road. We stopped to ask two farmers in the corner of a field for directions. "Go back and turn into the fancy entrance on the right" were the directions. Thankfully, I have a thing for the fancy entrances, and this had not gone unnoticed. :-) This proved to be the left turn prior to the one indicated by the SATNAV.
The "fancy entrance" on closer inspection was a stunning pair of romantically overgrown gate lodges. I made Gregor stop so I could take some photographs. With gate lodges this well styled and having perfect Gothic openings, there has to be an equally stunning "big hoose" in the vicinity.
|fancy entrance - well modulo purple wheelie bins|
|ruined gate lodge at rear of entrance gates|
|auction venue - a crenelated and be-towered model farm|
On the walk to the auction, I introduced Gregor to wild garlic, which was growing wild in the woods. I had not seen this since childhood, but some distant almost ancestral memory stirred. Gregor only hesitantly sampled the plant, after I had eaten a leaf. He concluded it has a smoother and superior flavour to commercial garlic, with a greater pungency.
In the flesh, some large doors that were for sale did not live up to my high expectations from the photo in the auction catalogue. The doors were just cupboard doors, not interior doors, and smaller than I'd estimated. However, there were building materials and building tools galore and I put in my low bids. One unexpected find was a pile of wooden moldings which are carbon copies of the ones in the castle, albeit on a slightly smaller scale - I put my bid in!
At the auction on Friday (today), I won a job lot of scaffolding battens which are needed to reach the roof of the Great Hall, 3 Victorian fire inserts, sundry bits and bobs, and the wooden moldings! I won about half my bids, which is probably a sign that one is pitching at the right level.
Today, I decided to google for the big house and found out this was "Aldbar Castle" which consisted of a large 16th tower house with baronial extensions dating from 1844 to 1854. The side view shows the great depth of the mediaeval part, and that the Victorian facade, which matches the gate lodges, is just one room thick. The building was devastated by a fire in 1964 and totally demolished later that year. I can almost understand a Victorian house being demolished in 1964, but to demolish a medieval building in 1964 is horrific. The stone walls would have without doubt survived and the term "uneconomic to repair" does not excuse the crime. I finish with some photos of the exterior and interior of Aldbar Castle to show the glory of what has been lost.
The moral of this story is that the attempt to restore one Baronial building which was almost lost, has revealed the even greater loss of another.
|Aldbar Castle - front|
|Aldbar Castle - entrance|
|Aldbar Castle - dining room|
|Aldbar Castle - library|
|Aldbar Castle - side view|