My tights are currently drying on the radiator, so this is a post about rain. (Don’t worry, it is also about a castle.) Autumn is my favourite season, but more often than not it is grey, very soggy and not actually very Keatsian. So as a homage to the clouds outside and my dripping tights, I am going to write about Dunster Castle, where we got absolutely soaked.
It looks brilliant even with grey skies behind it! I do like Jacobean architecture – all those tall rectangles and red bricks are kind of imposing and cosy at the same time. There has been a fortification on the hilltop site since the eleventh century, but the medieval castle had become dilapidated by the 1600s – a Jacobean renovation and a Victorian remodelling followed.
It’s a big rambling house, but one room in particular catches at the imagination. When King Charles II was the Prince of Wales and trying to raise support for the Royalists down in Exmoor, he spent a night in Dunster Castle – this is his room, and some details from it:
It is oddly easy to imagine the Prince trying to sleep, looking up anxiously at the dark carved wood. This room is different from real royal bedrooms: not a place of pomp and grandiosity, but a dark little room with a secret passageway – the Prince who slept there unsure of his kingdom and preparing to fight for it, and needing a place to shelter from the rain.
A few more of my film pictures from Exmoor, as an ode to grey skies: