A few other houses and gardens were visited on day 1 & 2 of our Easter 2012 trip:
Wrexham has a number of long, narrow buildings and some interesting old buildings. We ate in one of the oldest buildings in Wrexham.
Only a few miles from Wrexham is Erddig, a National Trust property since 1973 and an early 18th century home of the landed gentry that no longer serves a purpose in this part of Wales, being far too large to sustain and latterly being occupied by a bachelor who only lived in a few rooms and ignored the leaks in the others.
The house has a gloomy Georgian interior and has suffered from neglect and being lived in by a single man during the beginning of the 20th century.
Inside an interesting early shower
Inside none of the rooms really struck a cord. However, there is a well-preserved early bed with Chinese hangings and an assortment of strange and wonderful things on the landing, such as a carved ivory house.
Outside, the gardeners have really shown how a beautiful garden can be brought back to former glory.
Above, a japanned cabinet.
The dining room at Erddig
Downstairs a model helps understand how big this house was.
Also in the basement are extensive kitchens, including this ham that was never collected and still hangs.
We then saw Penrhyn Castle, a neo-norman castle built in the 19th century with doors weighing 1 ton, a decent art collection in one of the last rooms visiting, including a Guardi and a Canaletto (which I didn’t like), a 1 ton slate bed that Queen Victoria slept in and a story about how National Gallery paintings had to be stored here during the war because they were able to offer walls tall enough for some of the larger paintings and an impressive double height hall. All is very Victorian and outside the National Trust have made various museums out of the outbuildings. Probably because we’d had a long day I couldn’t get out of there fast enough (a long day which was finished with a trip to a Little Chef after a 15+ year hiatus, coupled with the hope they had improved but met with such poor food I resolve never to return to Little Chef unless I really really really must do, and then only for a cup of tea and toast). I couldn’t find an inspiring picture of Penrhyn Castle either so I include none and won’t be returning to take another. Home to bed we went to make the trip down from Bangor to Swansea.