Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Worm-eaten Hold of Ragged Stone

It was Jericho Zeal's birthday and thus there was an expedition to the incredibly beautiful ruins of Warkworth Castle. For all the blinking lights of the low battery display, the camera held out long enough for a number of photos to be taken and we were able to take advantage of the shattered walls, jagged shadows and dark corridors of Warkworth Castle.

The polygonal keep is one of the most unique great towers of England. It is a fantastic maze of nooks and crannies, large rooms and tiny corridors. The central light well provides light to the heart of the castle, as well as collecting rain water for the latrines. The keep is lauded as a "masterpiece of social and architectural planning, equalled only once in the English Middle Ages for ingenuity and intricacy."* It has been attributed to the fourteenth century master mason John Lewyn, who is also thought to behind Durham Cathedral.

Though highly eroded, the Lion Tower's frontage is still utterly striking. The lion, rather resembling more a feathered dog than a lion, does look like it was carved by someone who has never seen a great cat in their life. The coats of arms are no longer obvious, but it was once that of the Percys (on the right) and the Lucys (on the left).

In retrospect, it would perhaps be nice to have done some photos of the Elizabeth-inspired costumes that the Mercenary has something of a backlog of as the film (starring Cate Blanchett) was filmed there, but the entire trip was largely spur-of-the-moment.

In the coming days, as I go through the Warkworth photos, I should be posting photos of the black and red velveteen zone-front gown (see above), black coat (on Jericho above), pale-blue striped short coat (worn with a white chemise) and brocade redingcote.

* Title is a quote from Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part II.

* Andor Gomme, Alison Maguire, Design and Plan in the Country House: from Castle Donjons to Palladian Boxes (2008) p. 28

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