Wednesday, May 22
We took time to see a little more of Nottingham before we got on the road. There is some pretty architecture in the city – lots of Art Nouveau detailing.
I also liked the combinations of old buildings with modern shops on the ground floor.
We found a few cool vintage shops. I really wanted this great suitcase picnic set but couldn’t see a way to get it home. I found a nice black scarf with white polka dots instead.
We headed out of town towards York but decided on a whim to stop at Bolsover Castle. It was pretty cold and windy but that meant hardly any visitors. We spent a couple of hours exploring.
It looks forbidding from the outside but from what I gathered was really built more for the entertainment of a wealthy aristocrat and his playboy son.
We walked through huge red gates.
Which opened up onto the Great Court with an old copper beech tree in the center.
There was a scale model and a floor plan of the castle at the entrance.
The Riding House Range on the left looked to be fairly intact with some sections being restored. From bolsover-castle.co.uk:
“William Cavendish was an avid horse rider and had this range of buildings built in the 1630′s to accommodate, train and show off his horses. Cavendish trained in horsemanship at the Royal Mews and was considered an authority on the art of Manège [specialized horse training similar to dressage], so much so that he was engaged as tutor to the Young Prince Charles (later to become Charles II).”
The floor of the Riding House:
A cool pattern of oak arches supporting the Riding House roof:
The Terrace Range, a set of state rooms, banqueting halls and kitchens for entertaining royalty, was mostly ruins.
There was enough remaining, though, to get a rough idea of the layout of the kitchens, hearths and larders.
It was interesting to look up from the lowest level and see the chimneys and a fireplace on the top floor.
From the rear of the Terrace Range, we had a nice view of pretty English countryside.
After leaving the Terrace Range, we explored the Little Castle. It was in fine shape with lots of vibrant paints but it wasn’t clear how much was restored and how much was original.
There were some gorgeous rooms in this castle.
In some rooms, every inch was decorated. This is the ceiling of the Star Chamber.
We climbed a worn staircase with tiny doors to get to each floor.
We strolled through the Fountain Garden and saw the Venus Fountain with some rather…adult sculptures. I love the little alcoves built into the walls of the garden – clearly designed for secret romantic trysts.
We wandered back to the car and headed on towards York. We checked into our lodging at 23 St. Mary’s and took a stroll before supper.
We were centrally-located and only a couple of blocks from the Museum Gardens and the ruins of St. Mary’s Abbey. There has been an abbey on this site since 1055. It underwent several changes of leadership/affliation over the next couple of centuries. These ruins are all that remain of the wealthy Benedictine abbey built between 1271 and 1294.
The abbey was mostly destroyed after Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries in 1539. Bits and pieces of the abbey are still visible and the stone provides an interesting contrast to the lush grass.
It was a good setting to try out my infrared filter. It seems to work best with a variety of textures like trees and stone.
We walked past York Minster which we planned on visiting the next day. There has been a church on this site since 627. This most “recent” version was built over the course of 250 years – from 1220 to 1472.
Like Notre Dame, the closer we got, the more elaborate the detailing.
We had supper and called it a night.