Sunday, September 25, 2016

Two for One in Wales - Mosaic Monday




Welcome to Dinefwr Park, home to Newton House and Dinefwr Castle. We visited on a drizzly day in July, with my cousin and her daughter. Cows lounged in the field along the roadway, looking very much at home.



We learned that these are no ordinary cows; they are White Park Cattle, an ancient breed of horned cattle that have been around for a very long time - more than 1000 years!

Our guide told us that during World War II, the cattle's white colour stood out at night and helped the enemy bombers locate their targets. An attempt was made to first paint the cows green, then later to cover them with camouflage blankets, but these efforts failed as the cattle didn't recognize each other and began acting strangely. So the cattle were shipped to Canada, first residing at the Toronto Zoo, then later to the USA. A well-traveled breed!


Lord Rhys (Rice) built the original Newton House in 1660. Traces of it are still visible, but most of the current structure dates to 1850. Capability Brown was consulted about the landscaping, resulting in beautiful views from the house. Financial difficulties resulted in unfinished work. If you look carefully at the arches on either side of the doorway, you'll notice the right side is much more detailed than the left. 



From the formal drawing room and the dining room one's eyes are drawn to the medieval deer park, one of the most important features of this site.



A herd of fallow deer graze peacefully in the misty landscape. This scene has changed little for hundreds of years. 



This stack of old books appealed to me. 
Financial troubles forced the sale of the property in the 1970s, after which it fell into ruin. Some of the upper floor support beams were cut out and used for firewood. Today's reconstruction reveals what life was like in 1912. The basement reveals what life was like below stairs, with clothes to try on, a silver safe to peer into, and the butler's room to explore (I thought immediately of Mr. Carson).



I wish I could have tucked a few of these plant pots, available in the gift shop, into my luggage.
We took a tour of the house and saw some sections not open otherwise. Guided tours are a wonderful way to learn some of the stories about the houses we visited. 



The tea shop is located in the former billiard room, complete with fireplace. I enjoyed a delicious Courgette (Zucchini), Garlic and Stilton Soup and a Cheese Scone.


After lunch we walked up the hill to Dinefwr Castle, built in the 12th century by an earlier Lord Rhys. 



A view from the battlements shows the extent of the castle.




The views over the valley are extensive and would have been very useful to see if anyone were approaching the castle, be he friend or foe.



A view of Newton House from the castle. 



Tim, my cousin and her daughter.



While touring the ruins, I felt the similarities between this 12th century castle, and the one in Les Andelys - Chateau Gaillard, built by Richard the Lion-Heart, about which I wrote earlier. The designs were similar, but the building materials very different. Here is the dark stone of Wales, whereas Chateau Gaillard is constructed of golden limestone.

I hope you've enjoyed this brief tour of Dinefwr - both a castle and a house. It's been just two months since we visited which seems short, but much has happened since then. I like going back over the photos and my travel journal. Tim and I reminisce and it makes the pleasure of the journey linger. 

Linking to Mosaic Monday, hosted by Maggie of Normandy Life.  

36 comments:

Maggie said...

What a wonderful place to visit, it has everything I look for for a great day out. The views from both castle and house are stunning the cattle just fascinating, interesting history and a tea room! Adding Dinefwr to my must see list. Is it a National Trust property?
Happy Mosaic Monday!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I also enjoy visiting such interesting and historical places like these, Lorrie. My mind will wander as to how life was in the past and how different the world functioned back then. The cattle did look unusual with their white coloring and large black noses. I'm glad that their species was not destroyed in the war!

orchid Miyako said...

Dearest Lorrie; Sweet white cows looking really relaxed♪
Fascinating to read your visit 'Newton House' and the beautiful views♡♡♡ How wonderful to learn the history of the different country through blogging. So different from our Japanese Castle. Thank you so much for sharing.
Sending Lots of Love and Hugs from Japan to my Dear friend in Canada, xoxo Miyako*

riitta k said...

Stunning photos with great views Lorrie! I loved the ruins, cows, books - just all of your post!

Alex said...

What a wonderful place to visit! It looks mysterious and romantic in the typically Welsh weather.

Tammy@T's Daily Treasures said...

How lovely. I'm glad that the surrounding area is much as it was so many years ago. It's nice to know that some historical areas of the world are being preserved.

eileeninmd said...

Hello, yes I enjoyed the tour of the castle. The grounds are beautiful. I like the story about the cows during the war and see the field with the deer. Lovely views and photos. Happy Monday, enjoy your new week ahead!

Elizabethd said...

We did some odd things during the war, but painting cows green...?? Poor things!

Snap said...

Thank you so much for the armchair tour of Dinefwr. I loved seeing the cattle and admire people who try to maintain the "old" breeds. Beautiful images.

Rettabug said...

I have fallen head over heals with those stone arches!! I would love to do them in a quilt!
Thanks so very much for sharing your trip. I'm enjoying it immensely. ♥♥♥

Summer said...

Beautiful photos! The cows are cute ♥

summerdaisycottage.blogspot.com

Judith @ Lavender Cottage said...

Interesting about the white cattle, poor things. I did enjoy the tour of the countryside and castle right from my living room chair - best way to travel to far off places.

Jan Jackson said...

As always, I enjoyed the tour! Thank you.

Amy at love made my home said...

What a fascinating place to visit. I have heard of white park cattle, but didn't know that they caused so many issues during the war! They are a "rare breed" here now I believe. xx

Pamela Gordon said...

A wonderful series of photos of this beautiful castle and the ruins. The views around it are gorgeous! After our trip to England in 1992 I'd get out the photos often, and usually annually for a few years, just to look at them again and reminisce. It was an amazing trip and I'd love to return. Do you know if the White Park Cattle are still a breed here in North America?

Marilyn Miller said...

Love seeing this castle and house from your camera lens. The deer park is wonderful too. Fascinating story. Loved, loved the cows.

camp and cottage living said...

Wow, that was certainly a trip of a lifetime, Lorrie! I loved everything about the tour. The tearoom must have been a sight to see too. Any pictures?

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

I am so glad that you are still going through photos from your trip :) I have enjoyed each and every one and the history / info since you first started posting them :)

mamasmercantile said...

What a wonderful place to visit and wonderful that you are revisiting your photos and evoking so many wonderful memories. You took us on an amazing tour that I really did enjoy.

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

You're such a wonderful tour guide, Lorrie, and I enjoyed seeing the area through your lens and hearing about it through your words. How nice for you and Tim to reminisce together. I miss traveling with my late beloved. Enjoy your time and travels with your hubby.

Karen B. said...

Your photographs are amazing. You must have had such a wonderful time.
Hugs,
Karen B. ~ Todolwen

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I was thinking about Downton before you even mentioned Mr Carson, because we are just now Amazon (binge) watching ...missed it on PBS because we were traveling when it started. You are a great guide and I loved every minute of this tour. Of course the castle and history and the inside views ... And those well traveled white cattle, what an interesting footnote to history of the War. The deer are wonderful.

Debby Ray said...

Oh my, what breathtaking photos of these stunning views. I felt as if I had stepped back in time and into another land by visiting today! I could even almost smell those old books! What a fantastic trip that surely was!

Betty from Comox said...

Thankyou for another delightful tour Lorrie. Dinefwr castle brought back memories, having been there. I love the rolling hills,the beauty of nature.

Helen Philipps said...

Your travel posts are always a pleasure to read, Lorrie. I love the pictures and the interesting information you share. Loved the story of the white cattle! :)
Helen xox

bj said...

Those white cattle are just beautiful..the close up..I'd have enlarged and hanging on my wall..it's beautiful..what a nice trip this must have been....

aspiritofsimplicity said...

Absolutely beautiful. I would love to visit such a place. My mum and I visited Scotney castle while we in in England a few years back and it was lovely.

Carrie @ Cottage Cozy said...

What a fun visit you have provided to us all! A beautiful castle :)

handmade by amalia said...

Thanks for taking us along to this lovely place, Lorrie. I loved the views and the history and the story of the travelling cows.
Amalia
xo

Deanna Rabe said...

Very interesting. I love history and would have enjoyed this visit myself!

Margie said...

Thanks for the tour, Lorrie! My favourite shot is the castle surrounded On a different note, have you had any royal sightings lately?

Denise said...

Hi Lorrie,

I really enjoyed this post; the story of the long-horned cattle was cute. :) This is a beautiful place you've written about, and I'd love to see it in person. I've always loved the way the grass in Britain looks so very green against the old, gray stone of their buildings. It makes for a lovely contrast, and serves to make things look even older and more mellow.

Thanks for sharing your photos and stories with us; have a wonderful week!

Hugs,

Denise at Forest Manor

Stephanie said...

I can see why the books appealed to you as they appealed to me as well {{smiles}}

My, what a lovely post! I so enjoyed the history on the cattle and the views of the countryside took my breath away.

Thanks for sharing, sweet Lorrie. Hugs!

Judy Biggerstaff said...

Thanks for the tour. Beautiful images, great looking cow too.

Barbara said...

Glad you enjoyed your trip and I know how much you enjoyed all the history. You have taught me something. I did not know the history of the cows.

Beatrice Euphemie said...

What a wonderful trip - love seeing all your beautiful photos! The deer on the hill is lovely. Interesting information, too! x K