|Exterior of the house|
My day at Cardiff Castle.
Discovering William Burges.
|The Tower - with Burges' decorations.|
|The Winter Smoking Room - the blue figure is Dusk|
As readers will probably have gathered by now - I have a bit of a thing for Gothic style art and architecture - so the chance to spend a day finding out more about William Burges and Victorian Gothic, as part of a study day with Matthew Williams, the curator of Cardiff Castle, was too good to miss. Burges was a genius/eccentric, who believed that an architect's brief extended to the inside of a house - decorations, furnishings, windows - as much as the outside. He was also very expensive - so his involvement with the Third Marquis of Bute - who shared his taste and had the money to indulge it, was one of those serendipitous events that sometimes occur in history.
I had a lovely day. The lectures, the conversations with other enthusiasts and the food, provided by the castle cafe, were excellent. After the lectures Matthew took us on a quick tour, and I was able to snap some interior shots of the Winter Smoking Room. As you can see, Burges' decorative style is ... distinctive. You might say hectic. The theme of the room is Time - the days of the week, the seasons, the phases of the day. It has all the accessories of a lads' retreat, including storage for cigars and various alcoholic beverages, in specially designed furniture.
|The mantle over the chimney - winter pastimes.|
This is only a brief glimpse, but it give you a flavour of the Castle. It's an amazing place.