Monday, 23 June 2008

Harlech Castle

I have been very busy of late, and have rather neglected this blog,
so I thought I'd post some pictures of Harlech Castle, in north Wales.

The castle is accessed by wooden bridge in the location of the original drawbridge.
It looks formidable. This castle was rendered and painted white when it was built, as was Cricieth. They were meant to be highly visible as symbols of domination, from a long way off.

These were the grand apartments of the castle,
as viewed from the inner courtyard.

This is the remains of the Great Hall, you can see the fireplace and doorways on the left, and more holes in the walls, where beams would have supported the floors above.

You can see the potlug holes in the curved wall - large beams were insierted into these holes when the castle was being built - these beams then supported a ramp made of smaller pieces of wood, and the builders used the ramp to access the higher levels as they built the castle. The square structure where the curved wall meets the flat wall is the lavatory chute....

This view of a small window opening shows the thickness of the walls, about 10 feet, I think.

The view to the north from the castle. When the castle was built, the sea lapped at the base of the rocks it was built on, and it was supplied by sea, as this was easier and safer than trying to bring supplies through a difficult geographic region full of hostile Welsh people.

The remains of a grand fireplace and chimneys. See the corbels (stones standing out of the wall) which would once have supported a ceiling or floor or part of a roof.

Some steps within the castle - made from huge slabs of local Welsh slate.

Saturday, 7 June 2008

A small adventure!

I didn't travel far today,
but I saw some beauty in nature
and thought I would share it with you.

I took a 5 minute walk around my garden

A peony, just beginning to drop it's petals

a reddish clematis, the first flower of the year,
many more buds on the plant,
which is climbing up a tree

a purple clematis, which is fighting with the honeysuckle to take ove the fence

a pale yellow iris in the pond

2 little frogs, who thought they were invisible

this one posed nicely!

this one didn't realise I was looking!

this is where he always hides

sometimes his friend joins him

we dug the pond, with the help of friends, in May 2003. It's not very big, maybe 5 feet by 8 feet, and 2 feet deep in the middle. We positioned it at the back of our garden, in an area where we knew frogs passed through. We had frogspawn in spring 2004, and now have a colony of frogs living in the pond, with new tadpoles each year. We don't know how many frogs there are, but we counted 11 adult frogs last weekend. I also often find very little ones in the flower borders when I am weeding. We have noticed that we don't have a problem with slugs in the garden any more, but I wish they'd learn how to eat snails, so that my hostas could look majestic instead of holey!!!!