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Sunday, September 03, 2017

Dyffryn and Castell Coch

The forecast was for rain and dutifully as I woke it was raining!

My plan had been to go to Tredegar but I read that the house was under a protective cover which would start being taken down tomorrow over the next 6 weeks. A bit rude of the National Trust not to anticipate my visit!! ;) So I decided to delay my visit for a day or so and headed to Dyffryn. I drove through some heavy rain but at Dyfrryn the rain ceased and it was just dull and miserable!

I last visited many years ago when the house was unopened and the garden run by the Council. The council still own it but it is now leased to the National Trust. Is this a cunning plan to delay NT Scones every visiting all of their properties?

What you see today was the house of John Cory a banker who started construction of the house in 1891. In 1939 the house and gardens were leased for 999 to Glamorgan County Council and it was sold to the Vale of Glamorgan Council in 1999 for £300,000. in 2006 the house and gardens underwent an £8 million. I visited in 2009.  It was leased to the National Trust in 2013 for 50 years. It doesn't feature in Jenkins Welsh book although the gardens are fabulous. The house wasn't open on my last visit and is in need of repair.

Castell Coch was a ruined medieval castle until the 3rd Marquess of Bute hired the architect William Burges in 1875 to build him a summer retreat. It was used briefly the Marquess who moved the contents to Cardiff Castle (I really ought to visit this one day!!). It was given to the state in 1950 and the original furniture replaced. It is therefore a Victorian fantasy castle and well worth a visit. I forgot to ask if I could use flash inside and though some people did I elected to be a good little NT member and didn't! Jenkins rates it as one of the 30 best buildings in Wales.

As I wandered out of the castle the rain started so I headed back! I wish the sun was out to show it all in better light!

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