Saturday, July 30, 2016

Climbing To The Top Of Blaise Castle



Perched on a hilltop in the Blaise Castle Estate is Blaise Castle, a gothic sham castle built in 1766. It looks like something straight from the pages of a fairy tale, and I love it, especially as I adore things which play with scale and gothic architecture. So I was very excited when I finally managed to coordinate a visit on one of the dates that the castle was being opened up by volunteers, and had the opportunity to climb to the top of the castle!

The castle used to be used as a summer house and party venue, and had sumptuous decoration, with wood panelling and gothic inspired interior design. These days, several of the floors are missing, the glass from the windows is gone, and the walls are simply whitewashed. The interior is like a beautiful, pale ghost of its former self,  the impressive gothic arches and wonderful church like windows taking on a new feeling in the absence of any further decoration.


Since 1981, when the castle lay derelict and vandalised, The Friends of Blaise volunteer organisation have done brilliant work restoring the castle to a state in which it could be opened to the public. They still fundraise to keep the castle open and for further restoration projects on the Blaise Castle Estate, and they also organise and steward the castle openings, which are once a month during the summer months. You can find out more details on their website-http://www.friendsofblaise.co.uk


I am quite scared of heights, so climbing the spiral staircase to the battlements was a bit nervewracking, but it was so worth it for the stunning views from the top.


There was an amazing view across the wooded part of the estate, with Lover's Leap in the foreground.


In the other direction lay the main house, and a view across Bristol. 



But perhaps the most spectacular was the view towards the Severn Bridge and Wales.


Each of the towers had a little room at the top. Of course I had to go into every single one...


I loved how the windows perfectly framed the treetops, almost like a painting.


By this point the castle was closing, so it was time to head back down the spiral staircase and into the woods.


I loved visiting this real life fairy tale castle, and I really hope I get to visit it again in a different season.

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