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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

ABC Wednesday - K



K is for ... Kidwelly Castle. This incredibly well preserved Welsh castle is located on the banks of the River Gwendraeth, at Kidwelly. It was first established around 1107, by the Normans. The small Carmarthenshire town of Kidwelly lies roughly half way between Llanelli and Carmarthen, near the coast.

I only had my old digital camera when I took these pics, about five years ago, so was unable to take any wide-angle shots of the castle. This is the main entranceway.



The castle is so well preserved that it's possible to wander around inside many parts of the building. These pictures unfortunately do no justice whatsoever to the sheer enormity of this amazing building.


This next shot may give you some sense of the sheer size of the castle. This is one small part of the whole structure - but look how tiny that person looks on the ramparts, near the centre of the shot. And that's a full grown adult, not a child.


It was weird standing up here, in this ancient structure, whilst seeing modern military aircraft flying overhead, and hearing them dropping bombs on the military practice range at Pendine, just the other side of Carmarthen Bay. Just think - the occupants of Kidwelly Castle, in its heyday, would have fought their battles with bows, arrows, swords and shields, maybe even catapults and crossbows. How times have changed. Or have they?



K is also for ... Kennixton Farmhouse. This old farmhouse was built in the early 1700's, near Llangennith, on the Gower Peninsula. In 1961, it was carefully dismantled, and transported to the St. Fagan's National History Museum, on the outskirts of Cardiff, the Welsh capital. The farmhouse was then completely rebuilt, and furnished in an authentic eighteenth century style. I took these shots of the farmhouse during a recent visit, with my cousin, Wayne.



I'm afraid I didn't get any shots of the interior of the building. For some reason, every time I've walked into this building, I've been severely creeped out. The last time was no different, and I bade a hasty retreat. Apparently, a number of people have had a similar reaction to the place. The fact that it is painted with a traditional old paint, made from limewash coloured with ox blood, doesn't help my discomfort. Old buildings were traditionally daubed with limewash, to both keep out evil spirits, and drive out any already in the building. Ugh!



Anyway, that's my ABC for this week. I hadn't planned on having a historical theme. It just kind of happened, as these were the only K pics I could find. Happy Wednesday!

26 comments:

ellen b said...

You are giving me the desire to travel back to Wales. Was there for the first time in 2006, Conwy. We tried to climb Snowden. My header on my blog is from Conwy. Anyway these are wonderful shots for K. I really enjoyed them...

Gordon said...

A fascinating and interesting post. The photos tell the story (even with your OLD digital). Thanks for sharing.

Lynette said...

This is an extremely interesting K post. I cannot get over how huge Kidwelly is, not can I get the image of the exterior color of the farmhouse out of my mind.

Katney said...

A magnificent history lesson. I am finding so many places to add to my list to visit. I have been to Wales, many long years ago, but would love to return. Maybe we can.

leslie said...

Gosh, another place to visit next time I'm there (the castle). And I had my photo taken right at the front door of that red house at St. Fagan's. That's a fabulous place to visit and I want to go back in the summer. :D

ArneA said...

SAS has opened a route to Bristol so my be a new visit to my daughter is more obtainable now. The distance from Heathrow is boring.
see:
How to become a case in Cymru Parliament
Text in norwegian but click on photo

Aileni said...

I don't remember the farmhouse from our last visit to St Fagans. Do you know what I call the Boulder Cottage, built of huge rocks. I got the idea for our platform bed with a clothes press beneath from there. Oddly it is Swansea Library that I always reacted to - it was built over plague pits so I have to wonder.
Kidwelly Castle was very popular with our kids. It has appeared in the Robin Hood series.

Truls said...

Amazing buildings. When I saw your pictures I thought that it colors of buildings have changed through times. It would have been interesting to see the castle in the same color as the last house.

See my ABC wednesday here.

Anne-Berit said...

Interesting K-post and beautiful pictures:o)

Blue said...

An interesting read for one who enjoys history AND who has actually been to Kidwelly Castle but had quite forgotten about it. TY for the reminder

Ackworth Born said...

An excellent information post - never been to Kidwelly but Wales has many castles - Flint, Caerphilly, Conwy, Caernarvon - o i'd better stop there - you bring them all back to me!

RuneE said...

A very interesting and informative tour. Just what ABCW is all about.

Don't make excuses for your camera - I much preferred your first picture: It told a history all by itself

mrsnesbitt said...

We dont often go to Wales but I do think that when we circumnavigate our island we shoud visit.

Pernille's ting og tang said...

Fantastic shots of a wonderful castle! I wish I cud see this some time:) Nice K!

John said...

Wonderful shots and interesting post. Well done!

Nessa said...

I love castles. And that red farmhouse is great.

Andrea said...

WOW, what an awesome castle. I would love to tour in that place.

DeeMom said...

Kidwelly Castle Awesome structure, The Farm house looks HUGE. Great pictures

Daisy said...

That castle is really amazing. We do not have anything like that where I live.

Paulie said...

Loving my armchair tour f the world today!

GatorUnit said...

Lovely photos. I've never been to Kidwelly castle but love St Fagan's.

kRiZ cPEc said...

nice post, thanks for sharing.

kml said...

Those are great photos - love the first one with the doorway - such beautiful work with the stones!

Thanks for your visit, I really enjoyed your post!

Dragonstar said...

As children we went to Kidwelly Castle several times in the summer holidays. I loved the place. In those days it was less popular than now, and we had the place almost to ourselves. All other castles were measured against Kidwelly, and almost all fell way short! It's much more cared-for now, and I think more popular.

St Fagan's is a magical place - needs more than one day to view properly. I have happy memories of visiting as a family with my elderly father. Second daughter dragged him everywhere almost at a run, and first son was hoisted on a rope at the water-powered grain mill. Wonderful day.

Neva said...

this is as amazing castle. I am astonished at the size of it.Does it just amaze me that it could be built with just stone and lasts this long? Well done....and ox blood? Glad you could at least take a photo....that creeps me out!

shiera (bisdakbabbles) said...

I've always wanted to see castles in person... I hope I'd have the chance to visit Wales in the future

 
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