Nothing is Normal- The wonders of Castle Drogo

I would like to begin this blog by saying that whoever the creative mind behind the Castle Drogo makeover is a genius.

Over the weekend we walked through Whiddon Deer Park, from the top of the hill we saw – what looked like – a block of flats going up.  Later that day we discovered that we had been looking at our next destination, Castle Drogo.  From a distance it looks quite unsightly but – in it’s defense – it IS encased in scaffolding AND going through a massive refurb, close up it looks much better.

The castle itself is fairly new, built between 1911 and 1930 for Julius Drewe, it is a Grade I listed building and has no links to Drogo the Warlord in Game of Thrones (in case you were wondering).

We visited the castle knowing nothing about it, as we entered a lady volunteer apologised that the furniture had been removed to avoid water damage but gave us a piece of A4 paper with a guide to the rooms.  To our surprise, each room contained different art installations.

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The art included Map of Truths and Beliefs, a vibrant tapestry by awesome Royal Academy artist Grayson Perry, which was originally created for an exhibition at The British Museum (above).

The artists involved were MDesign, Dovetail Foundry and Jill and Mike Smallcombe and each room had a different theme / story that is in-keeping with the history of the house and the story of the family.

Our children particularly enjoyed sitting on the four poster watching a specially made cartoon in the old nursery and we all enjoyed laying on beanbags and watching the visuals on the ceiling in one of the other rooms (and making a few hand shadow puppets when there was no one else in the room).

Castle Drogo also has some beautiful gardens, we didn’t get to see all of them this time but throughout the gardens you can view the magical Teign Spirits photography exhibition by Mike Smallcombe.

 

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The Bunty House, 1930’s children’s play house in the gardens of Castle Drogo
Here’s an interesting National Trust factoid for you: According to The IndependantThe trust has ten times more members than all of the political parties put together“. Chairman Tim Parker says that the NT should be “more diverse – but not Disneyfied” and for me, that’s Castle Drogo in a nutshell.  The article itself is worth a read.

In case you haven’t seen it, the National Trust came out with this Things to do before you are 11 ¾ list, we think it’s a great way of harvesting ideas and encouraging the kids outside.

You can get access to all of the beautiful National Trust sites for your whole family for around £111 per year  and they have sites all over the UK. It’s definitely an annual membership that haven’t regretted.

Castle Drogo also run family days, painting workshops and other events

Where is your favourite National Trust haunt in the South West?

 

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