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Usk Castle in February


By kasy


On last Sunday of February I visited my favourite (so far) Castle in SE Wales.
It’s not only the ruins that I like there – it is its surroundings that I enjoy. Owners are real gardeners so there is always something flowering there.
OK – let’s go back in time a bit.
This is a little drawing of what a castle could look like centuries ago:

View at the castle from parking

going through the gate

information for tourists – judging by the mistakes made in my language – google translated, lol
The info says: This is an English castle built by a Norman. It was the site of the battle of Usk in 1405, and has been slowly falling down for about 500 years.

Visitors go at their own risk.

First part of Castle – The Great Keep originally the Gate House ca 1170.

little cannon by the gate

inside the Inner Ward – looking at North Tower

view at currently restored Hall

turning left – Garrison Tower comes into a view

view at Usk town in the distance

turning left again – view at the Keep and the Gate

ok – enough of turning around – I feel dizzy already.
Lets go through the gate and check what’s inside the Chapel of St. George

Quince enjoying a February’s sun

anybody tired? bench is waiting:)

Let’s check what’s happening in currently restored Hall

Inside the Garrison Tower

Another view at Usk town from Garrison Tower

In the Outer Ward there is a private garden of Castle owners.
Let’s take a peek:

Dovecote Tower coming into a view

time to go home… going back through the gate

do you see what I see???

what do you say we should call this?

or that?

But hey – didn’t I say something about owners being keen gardeners?
Let’s see what’s growing there:
another peek into a private part

snowdrops and heuchera

Magnolia grandiflora hugging a clock

Seedhead of Iris foetidus

Hoping to see more of the private gardens in summer.
Hope you enjoyed:)

More blog posts by kasy

Previous post: RHS Hyde Hall in winter 2008 - part II

Next post: Botanic Gardens of Wales - March 2012



Wow, I have the same cannon at my gate!!
What a great blog!!! Am putting into fave's to be able to go back often!

13 Mar, 2012


what a lovely setting, i love the old stone.

13 Mar, 2012


An nteresting place, and nice views all around :o)

14 Mar, 2012


Lovely blog Kasy..there is always beautiful light in your pictures...

14 Mar, 2012


Lovely place! Oozing with atmosphere! :o)

14 Mar, 2012


Thank you all - such a lovely comments:) There is something special about this castle - have seen few others but don't have this feeling I would like to come back and see them again. With this one is really different. It changes with the seasons.

14 Mar, 2012


Good pics, Kasy .... thanks for the tour :o)

14 Mar, 2012



14 Mar, 2012


Thank you Terra and Costas:)

14 Mar, 2012


that's an excellent tour Kasy, makes me want to go and see it too, very nice blog :-)

14 Mar, 2012


Thank you Surreylad:) Have been there few times already - always coming back and discovering something new:)

14 Mar, 2012


What are castles like in Poland?

15 Mar, 2012


Most of them in poor condition, falling apart - few of them restored and still used.
Here is a link:

15 Mar, 2012


Lovely blog, Kasy ... thankyou for sharing the tour ... :o)

20 Mar, 2012


Thank you Shirley:) Hope the wheater in June when it will be open to the public will be good:)

20 Mar, 2012


Will you be returning for a visit in June, Kasy? .....

20 Mar, 2012


oh, definitely - there is lovely private garden which is open only once a year - going there no matter sun or rain, lol.

21 Mar, 2012


Fingers crossed for a sunny day ... :o)

21 Mar, 2012


I checked that link Kasy. The pointed tower tops are something we don't have (surviving at least). Some of yours are very like French Chateaus and some look just mean and war weary. Very impressive.

21 Mar, 2012


Ss - I think the simplest explanation for tower tops could be an amount of snow we're getting during the winter, lol.
At some stage we were heavily infuenced by French culture, lol.
Mean and war weary - can explain that as well. My poor country was always a 'tasty piece' for hour neighbours. It's been invaded so many times, we lost and independence few times - there were times Poland was wiped off from the map of Europe. But although we are a nation of farmers - we were always fighting for our freedom. At the begining of II WW soldiers on horses armed just with swords were attacking German tanks...

23 Mar, 2012


I'm reading a novel based in Poland at the moment. It goes into the farming life quite extensively. The story is one that involves a lot of Poland's history.

Yes the castles are not just show pieces, though ours aren't for the most part either, bloody histories all. Maybe yours look more daunting because of the bleaker weather and, to us, foreign dark wars.

Yes, I've read a lot about Poland in WW2, things I couldn't possibly repeat here. In that we have no recent comparison, but when I see the young Polish girls and boys working here I wonder if they are the first generation to not bear it heavily and look only towards the present and the future.

24 Mar, 2012


We are the nation of farmers Ss.
It's a pity most of our castles are falling into a disrepair:(
I agree with you - WW2 is a lot of different stories - told and untold...
I think the generations born after war are coping with it ok.

28 Mar, 2012


Very interesting. I really like the "Snowdrops" very early spring bloomers.

Very beautiful setting and seems like a cozy place to live at one time.

30 Nov, 2013


I love the snowdrops time - then I know the spring is just around the corner.
This castle isn't big - but the owners really take good care of it and they restore it whenever they get some funds.

1 Dec, 2013


This is a very nice blog. It's interesting and educational with groovy pictures :)

1 Dec, 2013


It's my favourite castle here - it's got very nice English garden attached to it. It is private so there is no access to it except for open days. Managed to see it this summer.
Really glad you liked it:)

1 Dec, 2013


That's one thing that stand out from my visit to England - the meticulous English Gardens.

1 Dec, 2013


That's why I always say - it's Heaven on Earth for gardeners here, lol

1 Dec, 2013

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