Chez WW in England

Chez WW in England

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Powis Castle & Garden, Wales

30 May 2011

The alarm blasted at the crack of dawn. Well, not quite, but it sure felt like it. Grey clouds loomed and a light rain fell. We piled into the car and headed for Wales. I am having a not so secret love affair with Wales. It may have been that first visit to Wales (Hay-on-Wye) and a town filled with books that set my heart a flame. It may be the mountains shrouded in mist. It may be those tiny twisty roads that getting my heart pounding. From experience, we know that we need to add time onto whatever google maps or our sat nav tells us…a lot of time. Setting put early means that the roads are almost empty. Macs were packed and wellies were on. Powis Castle and Garden…here we come.

The garden at Powis Castle is a dream. A very fancy dream with terraced gardens. Real terraced gardens complete with giant yew trees and beautiful flowers. I had never seen a real life terraced garden before. To say that I was transfixed would be an understatement. I could picture the gardens at Powis Castle in Italy or maybe France…but not Wales.  The gardens were created in the late 1600′s when formal gardens were the height of fashion. These formal gardens were later replaced with the more informal gardens of open parkland. But, the gardens at Powis survived.

Powis Castle and Garden are being preserved by the wonderful hands of the National Trust. The 8th Earl of Powis still has an apartment within the castle. Each room is more spectatular than the next, filled with stunning furniture and art. No photography is allowed inside the castle. Powis Castle is home to the Clive Museum. Clive of India had an enormous collection of Indian and Far Eastern objects. His son married into the Herbert family of Powis Castle and brought the collection there. One is able to step back into time and see items that could have come from Aladin’s cave.. In 1774, Clive of India bought a Roman cat and snake marble statute for his wife from the 1st century BC – 2nd century AD. In a home full of stunning pieces of art work, it is incredible to see a work of art that is so beautifully carved from so very long ago. The history that this one statute has seen. Wars, electricity, computers, the plague. And this beautiful things was crafted with none of our modern tools. I was in awe and felt that anything is possible. It may be the same feeling one gets when viewing the Great Pyramids.

Yew wood have been used to make bows for years. Andrew was a little shocked that these beautiful trees would be cut down to make weapons. We have since bought a dining set made from Yew wood. It is stunning and I am so happy to have such a beautiful piece of furniture to remember our special time here.

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