“The Castle House” is an 18th century Neo-Classical country house situated in England. Without giving too much away, it was built to replace a large, mostly Jacobean mansion dating from the 14th-17th centuries that stood on the site of a moated manor house, which was demolished in the late 18th century when the new house was built. Only a small tower from the original Jacobean house remains, itself also derelict. Today, the large mansion house stands derelict and empty, devoid of any life apart from the odd bat. It stands in the middle of nowhere, bordered by fields and ponds. The owners are attempting to convert the house into a 150 bedroom hotel with spa facilities, along with a few dozen new build houses. Personally, I hope this doesn’t happen as it would ruin the rural atmosphere of this site quite severely. But what can be done?
My friend Landie_Man and I arrived at the site on a chilly and rainy May morning. After hearing and seeing good things about this site, I was stoked to see it. Being a fan of Neo-Classical architecture, especially of the type from the 18th century, I was especially excited for this explore. However, we faced on problem – we knew that there were at least two internal sensors within the building linked to a loud alarm system outside the building. We had to avoid those sensors as best we could!
We got to the house after a damp twenty minute walk, and started scouting. There was a car parked outside the front so we avoided that. We found our access and we got in… right into the view of one of the damn sensor…! The alarm outside started blaring so Landie and I hid for a good while before venturing over into the main house once the howler alarm had stopped sounding. The exploration of the house was absolutely incredible – we found some stunning ceilings on the main floor and a really interesting and unique shower/bath thing. It was definitely one of the most interesting houses I’ve ever explored. We were inside for a good three hours. The main floor, called a ‘piano nobile’ in architectural terms, was the most stunning, with the ceiling of the Rotunda Saloon being one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. The pargetted plaster ceiling had gold gilt on it and stunning 18th century paintings. The main drawing room has a marble fireplace with a carving of a woman holding a cornucopia, with bowls of fruit on either side of the lintel. After finishing up with our photos, we left the building and walked back to where we were parked – on public land I must add! There were two large 4x4s parked up next to the car, so we put our camera gear into ours and started setting off. Then, a big fat man waddled out from behind one of the 4x4s and stood in front of the car. The conversation went as follows:
Fat Man: “What are you doing here?”
Landie: “We just went for a walk.”
Fat Man: “A walk? It’s private property.”
Landie: “Okay, sorry, we didn’t know.”
Fat Man: “I don’t ever want to see you here again…”
So we drove off. Wasn’t the nicest send off, but hey ho, never mind! Anyway, enjoy the photos!